Haro backs out of Magsayo fight; Gibbons looking for replacement

Family comes first for Jose Haro. When his wife and children implored him again not to fight Mark Magsayo and quit boxing, Haro finally heeded their call.

Despite their urging, the American had been ready to tangle with Magsayo on September 23.  When the date was moved to October 3, however, Haro took it as a sign he has to back out.

"My kids don't want (me) to fight anymore," Haro told Powcast Sports. " It breaks my heart to say this but I'm retiring from boxing. I have too many kids to keep putting my life on the line every time I step in the ring. Once they switch the date for the fights that's when I decide it's best for me to walk away."

Haro, whose wife Selenia is expecting a seventh child in November, knows first hand the hazards of the trade.

Over 3 years ago, on June 10, he caught Daniel Franco with a solid right and won by knockout in the 8th round.

Little did he know, Franco would lapse into a coma. His fellow American foe underwent operation, eventually recovered, but would never fight again.

Just like most boxers, Haro got the itch to lace the gloves once more and beat Genaro Velarde Rodriguez by unanimous decision on February 29, 2019, to raise his record to 15-1-1 with 8 knockouts.

This set him up for a 10-round fight with the unbeaten Magsayo (20-0, 14 knockouts) at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

It was a go, until the uncertainty hounding boxing due to the COVID-19 pandemic struck again.

The card was reset to October 3, giving Haro, who has a regular job as merchandiser of Pepsi products, time to reflect on the repeated wishes of his family to leave boxing while he's healthy and ahead.

No, Haro isn't afraid of Magsayo. Rather, he fears either one of them could seriously get hurt as what happened to Franco.

Haro knows his decision would displease fight fans eager to see him snap Magsayo's win-run or for him to be knocked down for the first time so he issued a statement.

"I would like to apologize to all the Filipino people. I wanted to give them a great fight. Just my heart is not in it anymore."

Quitting would quash his dream of becoming a world champion, but Haro is happy he can always come home to his wife and children.

As to Magsayo, Haro need not worry.

According to MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons, Magsayo will still be fighting on October 3.

"Mark Magsayo is still scheduled to fight on October 3. We are looking for a new opponent," Gibbons said via messenger. – Rappler.com