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Mark Magsayo, relaunched at new weight, hopes the Ramirez fight will lead to a shot at WBA champion Roach

Mark Magsayo takes a breather after a sparring session. Photo by Lucas Noonan

Marvin Somodio knew before the bell rang that Mark Magsayo had no business left at 126 pounds.

The young trainer from the Philippines, who is serving as Magsayo’s second head coach for the first time as he heads to the 2023 championship with Brandon Figueroa, recalls hearing Magsayo’s knuckles while warming him up in the dressing room in punch mitts. Magsayo held on to whatever strength he had in the fight, and after a half-hearted attempt to loosen up, he came out and lost a unanimous decision to the aggressive Mexican-American southpaw.

For Magsayo, the decision to move up to 130 pounds came one fight too late, but now Somodio believes fans will see a different Magsayo than what they are used to seeing in recent fights.

“He always has his strength, but after weighing he sometimes loses his strength. But this time he can show his speed, his stamina, his strength and skill. This time he is able to show it and he is comfortable even though he is big as he is 130 and he will be much better than what he was at 126,” said Somodio.

Magsayo is now preparing to face another southpaw, but this time he expects to have more power and strength in him this Saturday, June 15 when he faces former title challenger Eduardo Ramirez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as part of the Premier Boxing Champions headline card. by Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin fight. Magsayo-Ramirez will be one of the first three fights shown live on PBC’s YouTube broadcast, starting at 5:30 pm ET, before the Amazon Prime pay-per-view portion of the card.

The 28-year-old Magsayo will be making his second appearance at 130 kilograms after competing at 126 pounds since his debut in 2013 at the age of 17. Avelar in three rounds.

“I feel better, freer and stronger. It’s easy to do for me especially since I kept my weight off since my last fight in December. I started training the day after that fight. I feel better stepping into the ring at 130 compared to 126. When I feel like I’m losing my legs and strength,” said Magsayo (25-2, 17 knockouts) from Tagbilaran City, Philippines about his weight gain.

Ramirez (28-3-3, 13 KOs) is a name that Magsayo has been on for a long time, giving him plenty of time to prepare for the match. The 31-year-old Ramirez from Los Mochis, Mexico has fought for a world title, losing a decision to Lee Selby in 2017 for the IBF featherweight belt, and his biggest wins include decisions over Miguel Marriaga, Luis Melendez and Edivaldo Ortega. . He has won one fight since being knocked out in two rounds by Isaac Cruz in 2022, stopping Sebastian Diaz Maldonado in six rounds last August.

“This boy is not an easy boy. He is experienced and has fought the best as well. He has been a world title challenger and can fight well. With him, I think we can show where Mark Magsayo is, who is at a high level,” said Somodio who believes that Magsayo will eventually grow into the lightweight division.

Promoter Sean Gibbons, who manages Magsayo under the MP Promotions banner, says the matchup makes sense given Ramirez’s experience. He believes Ramirez, like Magsayo, will be even better at 130, as his only KO loss came at 135 pounds.

“These are the type of guys that Mark should be fighting. They are top ten guys but so is Mark but Mark is the overall better fighter. “I like the style because Mark is good with southpaws, he has a good hook and it’s really a fight that Mark needs to be at the level he needs to be in to hopefully get the WBA world title with Lamont Roach,” said Gibbons. .

“He has been training this guy for six months so I think this is it [Julio] “Ceja does it again when Mark comes out and steals the entire night in a spectacular way and everybody says ‘wow, he’s back,'” Gibbons said.

“You get very few shots to get yourself back up and this is the night to do it.”

Magsayo smiles during training camp for his fight with Eduardo Ramirez. Photo by Lucas Noonan

Magsayo also understands that. After a whirlwind run where he ended Gary Russell’s long WBC title reign in January 2022, then lost his first defense to Rey Vargas six months later, then lost to Figueroa, Magsayo needs to make an impression now if he wants to. given the attention he needs to be pushed as a title contender.

“It’s very important to me, more than any other fight. Because I have a new goal of becoming a two-time world champion and I want to show the world that I am strong at 130,” said Magsayo, who now lives and trains in the Los Angeles area.

“I learned a lot from everything I went through. I also learned that I had grown mentally and physically and had to gain weight. I want to bring my strength to the ring which I do now at 130. My body is also maturing so I have to listen to my body.”

The ten-round fight will feature a WBA junior title shot, which could move the winner up the rankings. Magsayo, currently rated no. 6 in the WBA at 130 pounds, hopes a win over Ramirez could put him in a position to face Roach (24-1-1, 9 KOs), who will make the first defense of his WBA junior lightweight title on June 28 against the undefeated Irish champion. Feargal McCrory (16-0, 8 KOs) in his hometown of Washington DC

Roach, 28, won the belt in his last fight, knocking out Hector Garcia in the twelfth round to win a split decision. Magsayo hopes he can produce an impressive performance that puts him high on the list of Roach’s next opponents.

“I am focused on this fight because I need to show a big fight to get the WBA belt title. I’ve never had the WBA belt so I’m hopeful I get your chance,” said Magasayo.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].

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