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Underdog Magsayo braces for battle

Mark Magsayo is the clear underdog against punching machine Brandon Figueroa in their scheduled 12-round showdown for the interim World Boxing Council featherweight title on Saturday night (Sunday noon in Manila) at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

Oddsmakers have installed Figueroa a -350 favorite ($350 wins $100) and Magsayo a +250 underdog ($100 wins $250) in the duel that is not expected to go the full route given their styles and punching power.

Figueroa packs a 23-1-1 win-loss-draw card with 18 knockouts while Magsayo parades a 24-1 slate with 16 knockouts.

On paper, Figueroa has the advantage.

At 5-8, he is two inches taller than Magsayo and his wingspan — 72.5 inches — is four and a half inches longer than that of his Filipino rival.

But while Figueroa relies heavily on volume punching to wear down his foes, Magsayo has legitimate one-shot knockout power, something the American puncher has to be on the lookout for.

Magsayo’s fight-ending prowess was on full display when he locked horns with Julio Ceja of Mexico in August 2021 in Las Vegas.spirited
With the fight slipping away, Magsayo mounted a spirited comeback by hitting Ceja with a vicious right to the jaw, sending him down hard and separated from his faculties.

Magsayo will get pointers from Marvin Somodio, who took over the training duties from Hall of Fame entrant Freddie Roach.

Also helping out in camp is performance enhancement specialist Pedro Garcia, who presides over strength and conditioning during training days at the Brickhouse Gym.
Magsayo briefly held the WBC 126-lb throne.

After beating Gary Russell of the US to bag the championship, Magsayo was ordered to face Rey Vargas of Mexico, who beat him on points in san Antonio, Texas, last year.

Magsayo, who was born in Bohol but who spent the early phase of his pro career in Cebu, swears he is hungry for another title victory that will allow him to reign longer.

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