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Quijano: Mark Magsayo and the Bautista experience

By: Jingo Quijano, Last Round Sunstar Cebu

MARK Magsayo has long dreamed of headlining a boxing card in in his native hometown of Bohol. On November 25 he finally gets his chance at Pinoy Pride 43.

“Magnifico” Magsayo (17-0, 13Kos) will be up against the spirited challenge of Shota Hayashi of Japan who has a record of 30-6, (18Kos). At stake will be Magsayo’s IBF International Featherweight title.

In his last fight, Magsayo indeed appeared magnificent when he defeated Nicaraguan Daniel Diaz by dropping him three times in the first round.

Magsayo’s exploits bring to mind the not too distant memories of another Boholano boxer in Rey “Boom-boom” Bautista who was touted as the next big thing, only to come up short against top-tier opponents.

BOOM BOOM. Bautista was only 21 years old when he fought for the WBO super-bantamweight title against Daniel Ponce de Leon and was knocked out in the very first round.

Before that, “Boom-boom” had already headlined some local cards and had fought a few times in the US. The de Leon championship fight was part of the new defunct super-bowl of boxing series which pitted two different country’s fighters against each other.

Bautista had been commissioned as the team captain of the Philippines, which to this writer at that time was a bit out of line as the legendary Gerry Penalosa was part of that team and he still had a lot of gas left in his tank at that time. In fact, he won his bout against Mexican Johnny Gonzalez and became a world champion again, by seizing the latter’s WBO bantamweight belt.

But as you know, hindsight is always 100% accurate, and in fairness to ALA promotions, they had matched him up well up that point, and had built him up as best as they could.

It’s easy to point fingers and allege that Bautista had been fed with patsies up to that point in his career (to which I disagree partially), but to me it may not be matchmaking at all. It could be that he was never an A+ fighter to begin with and he was always going to lose to de Leon whether they fought five years later.

You see, de Leon was also a one-sided fighter and I don’t see him making the Hall of Fame.

STYLE. The point I am driving at is that promoters will always be in a quandary. Match him soft and be accused of coddling him. Match him hard and fans will allege that he was too green and lacked seasoning.

To this Last Rounder, I always believed in taking the shot whenever the opportunity presents itself. So I do not think Bautista’s handlers dropped the ball. He had his shot and he lost fair and square. I’d rather he took it and failed than not to have fought for the world championship at all.

In Magsayo’s case, my perspective remains unchanged. Match him well when you can, while you can. And when the call comes, take it and run with it the best that you can. No ifs and buts.

Besides, style-wise Magsayo is technically better. He has faster hands and throws better combinations. The talent and the potential is there.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Paneh Yap-Gutierrez who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!

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