Mark Magsayo

Magsayo tackles menacing Haro in Los Angeles

Roy Luarca
Filipino Mark Magsayo will put his undefeated record on the line against American Jose Haro

Just when he needs to rev up on training, Mark Magsayo got stymied.

Pitted against the menacing Jose “Pepito” Haro on Wednesday, September 23 (Thursday, September 24, Manila time), Magsayo must maximize use of the number of weeks available to gain optimum form for the closed-door featherweight ten-rounder at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

His schedule messed up as the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, where Magsayo trains in the afternoon under the renowned Freddie Roach, was temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from missing gym work, Magsayo was forced to do his conditioning under Justin Fortune at the University of California, Los Angeles track and field grounds and the Pan Pacific Park.

While Magsayo will be the slight favorite owing to his unscathed 20-0, 14 knockouts slate, Haro can’t be taken lightly.

The American of Mexican descent gained a fearsome reputation after sending Daniel Franco into a coma following an eighth-round knockout in 2017.

Franco recovered but his ring career was over.

Haro wouldn’t fight again until last February when he beat Genardo Rodriguez to raise his record to 15-1-1, 8 knockouts.

In his last fight before hooking up with MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions, Magsayo beat former World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Pungluan Sor Singyu by unanimous decision.

At Wild Card, the 25-year-old Magsayo got the chance to spar with former World Boxing Council titlist and Pacquiao sparring partner Viktor Postol of Ukraine and Armenian super bantam Azat Hovhannisyan (18-3, 15 KOs).

Haro also gained attention in 2015, when he his feet got shot at by a violent man at the parking lot, with bullets piercing both his left and right foot.

He returned to action 6 months later and won, only to be sidetracked anew with a left foot injury.

Now Haro, who has never been knocked down, is riding a 7-win run and is challenging a prime prospect in Magsayo. –