Mark Magsayo scores fighting-saving knockout over Julio Ceja
For his latest in-ring performance, featherweight Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (23-0, 16 KO’s) was intending on enjoying another sensational night in the office. The Manny Pacquiao protégé did ultimately win, but it was not what he thought it was going to be! Instead he went life and death with Julio “Pollito” Ceja (32-5-1, 28 KO’s) before stopping him in the tenth round of their dustup. The knockout marks back-to-back stoppage victories for Magsayo who was just in the ring four months prior. The solid win on the big stage will only continue to elevate the Filipino in the division. At the moment, Magnifico is already ranked #3 (WBO), #4 (IBF) and #5 (WBC).
Naturally, this is an acutely disastrous setback for Ceja who was coming off a draw and two losses before that. In fact, Pollito has not felt the thrill of victory since 2017. Prior to the fight, Ceja was ranked #12 (WBC), yet that standing is sure to plummet in the aftermath. At this point, it’s unclear what Ceja will do from this point in his career.
The fight initially looked like it was over before it could even heat up. Right at the top of the first round, Magsayo planted a picture-perfect looping left-hand on the easy button on Ceja’s chin. The punch instantly dropped him on the seat of his pants. Pollito made it to his feet but he was obviously not 100%. For the remainder of the period, Ceja was mainly on the defensive but he seemed to have cleared his head by the bell. By the second, Pollito was back hitting on all cylinders and now was scoring with his own offense.
Over the second, third and fourth, Ceja was now the bull coming forward as the Filipino was on his backfoot. Utilizing great head movement, Pollito weaved in and focused on the soft belly and ribs. The Mexican slammed his fists into Magsayo’s body with the menacing malice of a prison shiv. Oftentimes, he doubled and tripled his blows. For his part, Magnifico continued to land well, but his offense came in spots and was easily overshadowed by his opponent’s.
In the fifth round, the dedication to the body began paying dividends. During the final 40 seconds, with his nose streaming warm red blood, Magsayo was dropped to the canvas with a thumping left hook. Under extreme duress, Magsayo performed like a fighter, beat the count and soldiered on. Luckily for him though, the bell saved him from any further punishment.
Impressively, Magnifico was able to pull himself together and clear the cobwebs out. Pollito was still applying the pressure but Magsayo had resumed operating fluidly. In fact, toward the end of the seventh, the Filipino landed a swift trio of punches that rocked Ceja’s head back. This actually became the theme of the next several rounds; Magsayo landing good short combinations sporadically but generally getting outworked.
This persisted until the tenth when Mark Magsayo planted another picture-perfect straight right on Ceja’s chin. The valent Mexican crumbled to the canvas like a skyscraper under a controlled demolition. Referee Kenny Bayless could have counted until Sunday morning and Ceja still wouldn’t have gotten up in time. And with that jaw-dropping flip-flop of momentum, Magsayo claimed the memorable ninth hour stoppage.
Let’s just hope that Julio Ceja makes a full recovery. After his consciousness returned to his body, and he initially sat up, the Mexican would suddenly slump down again. Boxing is a dangerous and deadly sport and we at 3kingsboxing hope that all the fighters make it home to their families.
By: Bakari Simpson