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Magsayo impresses


ON ALL FRONTS. Mark Magsayo(in black shorts) outclasses Japanese Shota Hayashi to defend his WBO title. SunStar Photo by Ruel Rosello

MARK Magsayo impressed a soldout hometown crowd with his skills and courage against tough Japanese challenger Shota Hayashi last Saturday night. The 22-year-old unbeaten prospect looked like a world-beater and could well be ready for a world title shot.

Though it was an impressive overall performance, Magsayo also showed some of his flaws, especially in the later rounds.

“For me, I think I need a lot of improvement,” Magsayo admitted, following his unanimous decision victory over Hayashi in the main event of Pinoy Pride 43 -The Battle in Bohol.

Magsayo successfully defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) International featherweight belt with a convincing unanimous decision over Hayashi in what was a very exciting fight.

Though he was more patient, Magsayo still showed his tendency to become reckless, which showed in the later rounds.

“He has the talent. He just needs to gain more maturity, improve his defense, and be more focused,” said ALA Gym head coach Edito Villamor.

Magsayo, who improved to 18-0 with 13 knockouts, also looked a bit gassed out in the later rounds but he never stopped throwing his punches, showing a ton of heart.

“Mark just has to pace his punches now but he had a lot of great combinations. You also have to give credit to the Japanese because he came here to fight. Because when you fight and someone that has nothing to lose, it’s not easy. But I’ve always said there’s no substitute for experience, Mark will always learn from every fight. Right now there’s always the pressure of, is he ready for a world title. I’ll give him more time to really mature and learn from this,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.

Aldeguer feels that Magsayo, currently rated No. 2 in the WBO featherweight division, still needs a bit more improvement before he’ll be ready to fight for a world title.

“We’re looking at one more fight and see. There’s no need to rush. I would rather make him a long world champion, a star that he can become, he has the potential to be that. Why rush him. If it’s pressed for time, we’ll grab it. If you give him more time, he’ll be greater,” Aldeguer.

Magsayo is in a stacked 126-pound division that is the home of elite fighters like Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Gary Russell Jr., Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg.

Though Aldeguer feels that Magsayo still needs polishing, he also believes that he’ll be able to hang with some of the divisions best.

“He could be ready, but as what I’ve said, Mark would be better if we give him more time. But he can be ready, he’s ready. But he’ll be more devastatingif you give him more time to mature,” he said.

One of the scenarios for Magsayo right now could be a shot at the WBO champion Valdez or an eliminator for the mandatory challenger spot against former Olympian Jojo Diaz.

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