Mark Magsayo knocks out Ceja in WBC featherweight title eliminator

UNDEFEATED Filipino featherweight fighter Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo kept his unblemished record intact, knocking out Mexican Julio Ceja in the 10th round of their World Boxing Council (WBC) title eliminator contest, part of the undercard for the Manny Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugás title fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (Manila time).

Bohol native Mr. Magsayo, 26, opened the contest with a knockout (left hook), but struggled after as his opponent picked up his game with quality hits that took a toll on the Filipino, who was sent down to the canvas in the fifth round by Mr. Ceja with blows to the body.

But the Philippine bet would regain a second wind as the contest drew to a close.

In the 10th round, Mr. Magsayo came out aggressively and took it to Mr. Ceja.

With less than a minute remaining in the round, Mr. Magsayo caught the Mexican with a solid right to the head and followed it with another booming right to the jaw as Mr. Ceja fell to the canvas.

Referee Kenny Bayless called a stop to the fight immediately and moments later declared Mr. Magsayo the winner.

The victory took Mr. Magsayo’s record to 23-0, 16 coming by way of knockout.

He is now in a solid position to challenge reigning WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. of the United States.

Meanwhile, US-based Filipino prospect John Dato absorbed his first career loss, bowing to Mexico’s Angel Contreras by unanimous decision in their featherweight collision earlier in the day.

The La Union native Mr. Dato got knocked down by Mr. Contreras in the third round with a solid uppercut to the chin and just could make up for it the rest of the eight-round fight en route to the UD defeat, 78-73, 77-74 and 77-74.

Mr. Dato, 28, now sports a 14-1-1 (nine knockouts) record while Mr. Contreras improved to 11-4-2 (6 KOs). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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