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OPINION

Texas tornado

Mark Magsayo finds the way back to the world title being obstructed by a huge roadblock.

The Filipino featherweight, who briefly held the World Boxing Council 126-lb title, faces Brandon Figueroa for the Mexico-Based sanctioning body’s interim championship on 4 March in Ontario, California.

Figueroa, 26, is a formidable foe.

The Texas native packs a 22-1-1 win-loss-draw record with 17 knockouts and is famous for his non-stop punching and furious fists.

Standing 5-8 and boasting of a 72-inch wingspan, Figueroa appears to be a very challenging opponent for the Los Angeles-based Magsayo, now trained by Marvin Somodio.

However, Magsayo, who has a 67-inch reach, holds an ace up his sleeve in his head-to-head with Figueroa.

While Figueroa had to go 12 full rounds with Mexican slugger Julio Ceja in their 2019 slugfest and settle for a split draw, Magsayo pulled off a sensational victory over the rugged Ceja.

In August 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena, Magsayo scored a cold-blooded tenth-round knockout versus Ceja, whose downfall forced the ringside physician to jump into the ring to attend to him quickly.

That win propelled Magsayo to a crack at Gary Russell’s WBC strap a few months later and he didn’t waste the opportunity by snatching that title.

But Magsayo’s reign didn’t last long as he had to fulfil a mandatory defense against a difficult opponent in Rey Vargas of Mexico.

Long-armed and tall, Vargas scored a split decision to put an end to Magsayo’s happy days.

But Magsayo, 27, is back on track now that Somodio has taken the reins over the Bohol-born puncher’s training at the Brickwood Boxing Club.

Though Figueroa poses a serious challenge, his ultra-aggressive attacking style suits the equally-pugnacious Magsayo just fine.

This is a fight that could wind up the way Magsayo conducted his thing against Ceja.

Figueroa’s penchant for toe-to-toe exchanges and Magsayo’s willingness to engage should make this matchup mouth-watering.

Brace yourselves for war.

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