Sports Eye

Magnificent boxer Magsayo

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

I NEVER missed watching on television the Olympic final matches in cycling, boxing, basketball, my three top favorite sports. I admire how the U.S boxers won the gold medals in Olympic Games like Floyd Patterson in 1956 Melbourne, Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) in 1960 Rome, Joe Frazier in 1964 Tokyo, George Foreman in 1968 Mexico, Teofilo Stevenson of Cuba in 1972 Munich, 1976 Montreal and 1980 Moscow, Sugar Ray Leonard in 1976 Montreal, Oscar De La Hoya in 1992 Barcelona and non-Olympian Rocky Marciano, to name some.

In the local side although not Olympians, I have a high regard for the late Pancho Villa, the Bogo, Cebu-born Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Tondo boy and Dagupan City’s adopted son Luisito Espinosa, the Murcia, Negros Occidental native’s reigning IBF (International Boxing Federation), flyweight titleholder Donnie Nietes, and most of all the world’s only eight-division former champion Manny Pacquiao.

Nowadays, the newest in my card is Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo, whose fights I had watched personally in Cebu City. Yes, I was saw him again in the flesh in Cebu City last July 8 at the Pinoy Pride 41. I saw how the Tagbilaran City-born Magsayo pulled off a stunning first round knockout victory against the visiting ex-world title contender Daniel Diaz of Nicaragua to retain his WBO (World Boxing Organization) featherweight international title in the main event. He remained undefeated after 17 fights with 13 knockouts sans draw.

In his post-fight interview, Magsayo said he wants to fight the WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez, being the number two ranked world challenger. But his boss, Michael Aldeguer, the president of ALA Promotions, is cautious. He believes that Magsayo, 22, has to fight one or two more times before he can meet Valdez. Aldeguer revealed that there’s a big clamor among Boholano boxing fans to make their idol Magsayo fight in his hometown and Aldeguer is amenable. He plans to put up a fight in Tagbilaran in October. Apparently, Magsayo is very excited with Aldeguer’s idea and said, “It’s my dream to fight in my hometown and a great honor for me.”

If that pushes through and I have the means, I won’t think twice about flying there again to watch his fight. He’s my latest idol. I likened his style and punching power to the former WBO heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison. Well, he’s called “Magnifico” so he must be magnificent!

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By the time you read this piece, the Pangasinan Batang Pinoy 2017 Open Selection is already in progress at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen. According to Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council executive officer Modesto Operania, the three-day sportsfest that listed 17 sporting events, started on July 21 (exclusively for 6 to 13 years old athletes) and was graced by our sports-minded Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino, lll.  Operania pointed out that the best Pangasinan athletes after the hostilities will represent our province in the regional meet to be held in Vigan City in November and ultimately to Antique early next year. See you there at NRSCC.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. MATTHEW 5: 37.