Boxer Mark Magsayo: ‘I want to follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao’

Ryan Songalia

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Boxer Mark Magsayo: ‘I want to follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao’
Featherweight prospect Mark Magsayo hopes his fight with Chris Avalos this Saturday will be his springboard to international success and world titles

CEBU, Philippines – The boxing card which takes place this Saturday, April 23 in Cebu City is entitled “The Time Has Come.” There is no fight on the card which is best described by the title than Mark Magsayo vs Chris Avalos, a crossroads fight which will answer much about both men.

Filipino featherweight contender Magsayo (13-0, 10 knockouts) of Dauis, Bohol is hoping to cement himself as the next action star from the Philippines while Avalos (26-4, 19 KOs) wants to show that he’s still got life left in his career after losing by technical knockouts in two of his last 3 fights.

“This is my big test and I’m excited to fight him,” says the 20-year-old Magsayo, a hard-hitting, aggressive prospect whose career is being fast-tracked after 3 years as a pro.

(READ: Mark Magsayo: Future of Philippine boxing?)

Avalos, 26, is more experienced but has far more mileage on him, having been stopped twice in 2015, by Carl Frampton in 5 rounds for the IBF junior featherweight title, and in 5 rounds later that year by Oscar Valdez.

The atmosphere for a combustible showdown was set at Thursday’s press conference at the Waterfront Hotel as a charged up Avalos, egged on by his father/trainer Felipe, taunted Magsayo. The main event may be WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire defending against Hungarian Zsolt Bedak, but Magsayo vs Avalos could end up being the fight of the night.

Avalos proclaimed he would make Magsayo his fourth Filipino victim, following his wins over Drian Francisco, Rey Perez and Rolly Lunas.

Unfazed, Magsayo responded “Only 3. No more.”

Magsayo hopes a win in this 12-round fight will get him high profile showdowns in America against the likes of Frampton or unbeaten featherweight contender Oscar Valdez. He says he wants to follow in the footsteps of fighters like Manny Pacquiao and carry on the tradition of exciting brawlers from their Southeast Asian nation.

“If I win I want to be a big, big superstar in America like Oscar Valdez or Carl Frampton. That’s my dream, to become a world champion,” said Magsayo.

“Yes I want to be like Manny Pacquiao. He’s a good influence for all boxers in the Philippines. He opened the boxing in our country. I want to follow the steps of Manny Pacquiao.” –

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