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MANILA, Philippines – Mark Magsayo faded in the late rounds and yielded to Brandon Figueroa in their battle for the World Boxing Council (WBC) interim featherweight title on Saturday, March 4 (Sunday, March 5, Philippine time) at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Seemingly running out of steam after a strong eighth round, when he unloaded an eight-punch combination that rocked the American, Magsayo was an open target for Figueroa, especially in the 10th when the Filipino got wobbled.
Magsayo drew from his reserve tank in the 12th and last round, but there was not enough power left to put Figueroa down.
Further hobbled by 1-point deductions slapped on him by referee Thomas Taylor for excessive holding, Magsayo absorbed his second straight defeat via scores of 117-109, 117-109, and 118-108.
Magsayo, who surrendered the WBC featherweight belt to Rey Vargas in July last year, fell to 24-2 with 16 knockouts and may have to evaluate whether he will stay as a featherweight.
During the official weigh-in on Friday, the former Filipino champion needed to shed 0.8 pounds in two hours to make his fight with Figueroa official.
Figueroa climbed to 24-1-1 with 18 knockouts and expressed his readiness to challenge Vargas for the regular WBC featherweight belt.
According to Figueroa, he had Magsayo figured out in the late rounds.
“I took the fight right to him. I dominated him, he came back with little flurries, but I knew once I hit him with a body shot, he didn’t have no legs. I tired him out and dominated him.”
The punch statistics, however, indicated a much closer fight than what the judges saw.
Magsayo, in fact, had more punches landed than Figueroa, 179-176, who was, however, the busier fighter with 653 total punches against Magsayo’s 593.
Figueroa also sneaked in 161 power punches, one more than Magsayo, who unleashed only 464 punches against Figueroa’s 528.
As expected, Magsayo took three of the first five rounds before getting to be tagged by the taller (2 inches), rangier (5 cm) Figueroa in the sixth and seventh rounds.
After that eighth-round flurry, Magsayo’s firepower fell short the rest of the way.
MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons and coach Marvin Somodio will evaluate Magsayo’s performance and decide on what’s best for the pride of Tagbilaran City in his next fight this year. – Rappler.com