By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo will vie for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International featherweight championship against Julio Ceja of Mexico on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This will be an opportunity for the Tagbilaran, Bohol-native Magsayo to reclaim the WBO featherweight diadem that he previously held when he defeated American Chris Avalos in 2016.
The 26-year-old Magsayo is motivated to perform well against his dangerous Mexican foe as this will be his first to fight in the undercard of eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I’m excited about this upcoming fight. It’s a dream come true to me to fight alongside the legend Senator Manny Pacquiao,” said Magsayo, who is now being handled by the MP Promotions.
“Ceja is a good fighter, he’s a tough fighter, he’s an aggressive fighter,” he added. “I’m gonna do my best to win this fight and of course get the belt. It’s gonna be a classic fight. It’s gonna be a war always for Philippines and Mexico.”
Magsayo holds an unblemished record of 22 wins with 15 knockouts. The 29-year old Ceja, on the other hand, sports a record of 32-4-1 (win-loss-draw) with 28 victories by way of knockouts.
The winner of Magsayo-Ceja tussle will move closer to a crack at the belt against reigning and long-time WBC featherweight king Gary Russell Jr., who owns a 31-1-0 record with 18 KOs.
Aside from Magsayo, undefeated Filipino boxer John Dato is also scheduled to fight in the undercard of Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugas clash for the latter’s WBA world welterweight belt.
Dato, who is a native of Bangar, La Union but is now based in Santa Maria, California, will compete with Mexican Angel Antonio Contreras in a six-round non-title bout in the lightweight division.
Dato, who is fighting for the first time in two years, will parade his untarnished 14-0-1 record, with nine knockouts victories. Contreras has 10-4-2 win-loss-draw, with six stoppage wins./ASC, WDJ