One of our favourite Filipino prospects is the "under-the-radar" Featherweight Mark Magsayo (9-0, 7). The unbeaten teenager is one of a number or promising Pinoy's who has been quietly going about his business whilst improving immeasurably fight after fight. Sadly whilst Magsayo has been improving markedly in his abilities his opponents have, disappointingly, not become much better.
That is set to change however at Pinoy Pride 29 on February 7th as Magsayo takes a major step up in class. That step up will see him going from fighting the likes of South Korean teenager Moon Sun Jung, who the Filipino stopped in 2 rounds back in November, to a former PABA champion. That former champion will be Thailand's 27 year old Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-3, 8), a former PABA Super Bantamweight champion who was last seen in the ring all the way up at Lightweight, where he fought Ik Yang in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific title.
Although we know Magsayo is a wonderfully gifted fighter with speed, power and a developing boxing brain this is still a risky match up given his relative lack of competitive experience. To date Magsayo has fought just 2 opponents with winning records, John Rey Melligen (then 2-0) and Ernesto Tata Fontanilla (then 10-5-1) and has yet to fight anyone near international title level. As for the Thai this is an opportunity to make himself relevant again and we suspect we'll see a fully prepared and highly motivated Sukkasem who will come to the ring with the intention of derailing the talented teenager.
Whilst this bout won't be the headline contest on the card it is a major contest for the touted Magsayo who knows a win will lead to bigger and better things. We suspect there will be a lot of pressure on his shoulders however it's pressure that those at the ALA gym will believe he can handle,
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