Mark Magsayo is a fighter to watch at 126!
Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14KOs), the highly touted featherweight contender, returned to the ring on April 10 against Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6KOs). The fight, on paper, seemed to be nothing more than a “tune up” for the rising Filipino star. Magsayo is ranked in the top ten in all four sanctioning body organizations. He is ranked number 10 in the WBA, number 6 in the WBC, number 8 in the WBO and more importantly, number 5 in the IBF.
The IBF ranking is particularly important. A win would push him closer to a shot against the winner of the Kid Galahad v Jazza Dickens vacant IBF Featherweight title fight. The title became vacant after former champion Josh Warrington elected to drop the belt. The only other contender standing in his way of a possible title shot is the number four ranked Mauricio Lara. Notably, Lara dominated and knocked out Warrington in a major upset.
Lara is in line to challenge the winner of Galahad v Dickens. Although, a more lucrative rematch with Warrington remains a strong possibility. Regardless, Magsayo is in a favorable position for a title shot in 2021, especially if he keeps on winning. Also the backing of his promoter, the great Manny Pacquiao, is going to only further put him in favorable positions moving forward.
Making his 2021 ring debut, Magsayo would be paired against Cruz in a eight rounder. His preceding fight took place in October of 2020. Therefore, this bout was intended as a fight to shake off ring-rust and showcase improvements made since.
DOMINATION FROM BEGINNING TO END!
Magsayo would start the fight firing off an accurate jab, slowly easing his way into a offensive rhythm. This would pay major dividends as the fight continued. Round two saw the Filipino featherweight contender drop his overmatched adversary with a stiff left jab. The onslaught would get worse for Cruz as Magsayo found his rhythm and stalked his prey. Catching his man in the middle of both men throwing left hooks, the Filipino’s hook would drop and clearly hurt Cruz! The fight would come to a punishing end for Cruz. Magsayo would land a straight right hand that would send the Mexican fighter down for the third and final time.
With his first fight for 2021 in the books, the obvious question for Magsayo, is, “what’s next?”
He maintains a top ten ranking in all four major sanctioning body organizations. A title eliminator is possible, especially in the IBF with him being ranked number four. He could be in line to face the man who beat former IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington, Mauricio Lara. That bout that would likely see the winner be made the mandatory challenger to the Galahad v Dickens winner sometime in 2021.
Regardless of what is next on the docket for Magsayo, he is a major player moving forward in a stacked and deep featherweight division. His power, athleticism and offensive prowess make him a major threat to all the champions and fellow contenders in his division.
By: Jerrell Fletcher