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KO artist Magsayo lands in LA

Unbeaten Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo lands in Los Angeles. (Team Magsayo)

Unbeaten Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo lands in Los Angeles. (Team Magsayo)

 

 

By NICK GIONGCO

 

Hot prospect Mark ‘Magnific’ Magsayo took a giant leap towards securing a fight in the US to join a growing list of Filipino fighters being signed up to sustain the sports’ resurrection during the coronavirus era.
Accompanied by wife Frances, the undefeated featherweight flew out of Manila on a Korean Airlines jet that had a stopover at Incheon (Seoul) before landing in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon (Thursday morning in the Philippines).
Sean Gibbons, who heads MP Promotions, arranged for Magsayo’s travel from the Philippines to the US amid strict travel restrictions.
“MMM (Mark Magnifico Magsayo) could not afford to spend another who-knows-how-long before the travel ban is lifted he needs to be in the USA with Freddie Roach,” said Gibbons, who formally brought Magsayo to Manny Pacquiao’s outfit last March, just before the worldwide lockdown.
With the 25-year-old Magsayo now on American soil, he was able to clear a major obstacle in a bid to get meaningful fights.
Gibbons has instructed his son Brendan to take care of Magsayo’s needs in Los Angeles.
Magsayo’s rented place is a mere five-minute walk from the Wild Card on Vine Street near Santa Monica Boulevard.
As the number of cases surging in the Philippines, even if professional sports is allowed to return, it will be hard for local promoters to comply with safety protocols that will be put in place by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
Unlike in the US, specifically in Las Vegas, where Bob Arum’s Top Rank and the Nevada Athletic Commission are assisting each other out, the situation in the Philippines is entirely different.
Since mid-June, two Filipino boxers have already fought and a third—Mike Bernaldez—is fighting today (Friday) and a fourth, Reymond Yanong, who won last June 25, is on deck again on July 7.
Boxing is slowly gaining inroads worldwide as the lockdown eases.
Aside from Top Rank in Las Vegas, Mexico and Ukraine have just staged shows over the weekend while leading promoters Matchroomm and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions are also getting ready to make a comeback in the next few weeks.
Still, the safety of the participants – not just the boxers – are being given topmost priority.
In one of Arum’s events, the main event had to be scrapped after a team member of one of the boxers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Magsayo (20-0 with 14 KOs) spent the three-month lockdown in a Makati house where he regularly trained to remain in shape.
Gibbons is working to finalize Magsayo’s fight being targeted for September or October.

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