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Magsayo: One step at a time

CARSON, California – Twenty-one-year-old Mark ‘Magnifico’ Magsayo has been getting a fair attention from boxing fans especially after he was recently regarded by Freddie Roach as a potential world beater.

Now on his third training camp at Roach’s Wild Card gym in Hollywood, Magsayo got some reality check when he sparred for a total of 12 rounds in three different sessions against current WBA world featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar of Argentina.

“Katimbang ko siya pero mukhang mahirapan tayo dun. Magandang experience na naka-spar ko siya kasi marami din ako natutunan,” revealed Magsayo. “Pero kung darating ang panahon na makalaban ko siya, laban tayo. Basta paghandaan lang talaga.”

The 29-year-old Cuellar (28-1, 20 knockouts) has been slowly terrorizing the division after pulverizing noted champions Vic Darchinyan of Armenia and Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez in world title bouts.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer however admitted that their prized find from Tagbilaran City remains to be a work in progress and his upcoming 12-round WBO international title defense opposite late replacement Ramiro Robles of Mexico is one of those steps they have to take.

The match between Magsayo and Robles will serve as one of the undercards of “Pinoy Pride 38” headlined by the flyweight debut of two-division world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes against another Mexican Edgar Sosa which will happen tomorrow at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Expected to steal the limelight is a rematch between one-time world title challenger Arthur Villanueva against Chihuahua native Juan Jimenez as their action-filled first fight ended in a bizarre manner last May in Bacolod City.

The 27-year-old Villanueva (29-1, 15 KOs) recovered from a second round knockdown and was fighting Jimenez toe-to-toe until the Mexican got floored due to accidental clash of heads in the fourth round.

Surprisingly, referee Dan Nietes administered the count which Jimenez failed to beat. (Dennis Principe)