By Dave S. Albarado
Mark Magsayo was able to gain enough points to carve on Saturday night a slim win over a gallant and game Japanese foe during their fight at the sold-out Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium in Tagbilaran City.
Dubbed as the Battle in Bohol, Pinoy Pride 43, Magsayo won over Shota Hayashi via unanimous decision 116-112.
With the win, Magsayo retains his World Boxing Organization (WBO) International Featherweight championship and on track to challenge the world champion in his weight category.
Magsayo remained undefeated with 18 wins, no loss with 13 wins coming by way of knockout.
Called the Magnifico, Magsayo admitted the Japanese veteran fighter was solid and sturdy. He tried to wear his opponent down by going to the body, but it was a futile exercise.
“Nahirapan din ako kasi di ko talaga inexpect ang tibay niya saka malakas talaga,” (I had trouble against him, I never expected he was that sturdy and he was strong too.) said Magsayo.
The pride of Booy, Tagbilaran, battled a very game and tough Japanese pugilist. “Matibay siyasa bodega sakasamukha kaya medyonahirapanako.” (His midsection is really tough, and his face is solid, which is why I had a hard time.)
Mark used a combination of head and body shots to gain some headway for a set up towards a huge knockout punch, but the Japanese challenger was too smart.
Hayashi, who entered the ring with 31 fights under his belt, proved to be a tough customer and obviously had a solid fight plan going into the match.
In front of the hometown crowd, Magsayo primed himself into the frame for a world title shot shortly.
Hayashi, who turned 30 last Friday, failed on his first fight outside of Japan and may be on his way toward retirement. He hinted to retire in the event he loses out to Magsayo. However, his performance last night proves he still belongs in the ring and good for at least three to four years more.
With his impressive outing, Magsayo could be on a collision course against WBO World Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez, if not, an eliminator bout by March 2018.
Hayashi dropped to 30-7-1.
Magsayo thanked his fellow Boholanos for coming and witnessing his first match as a professional held in Tagbilaran.
He hoped the crowd enjoyed the match even if the expectation of a knockout did not happen.
On other matches, Prince Albert Pagara did a short work on Mohammed Kambuluta of Tanzania with 2:26 in the second round.
Pagara’s headshots floored the Tanzanian early in the second round who had the sole of his boxing shoe ripped off causing a slight delay.
Pagara improved to 28-1 with 20 wins coming by way of knockout.
Kambuluta dropped to 17-4.
Jeo “Santino” Santisima just overpowered Indonesian Ki Chang Kim.
Santisima floored the Indonesian in just 30 seconds into the fight. Two solid blows to the body were enough to bring the Indonesian into submission and win via knockout.
Santisima improves to 15 wins and two losses with 14 wins coming by way of knockout.
Tagbilaran’s other bet in the night Vergel Vitor went home with the win after carving a unanimous decision, 97-93, over John Ray Logatiman in their bout.
In the opener, Christian Bacolod scored a scintillating second-round technical knockout over Ryan Makiputin.
Bacolod downed Makiputin twice in the second round before unleashing a barrage of punches leading the referee to step in and put a halt in the fight, 2:50 in the round.
Roli Gasca knocked out Boholano Jason Tinampay with a nerve-shattering right uppercut to the jaw just 1:15 into the first round.
Rocky Fuentes won via unanimous decision over Ryan Tampus, 59-55, 60-54, 59-55 as Esneth Domingo also won via unanimous decision (UD), 39-36, 40-36, 40-35, over Lowell Saguisa.
Melvin Jerusalem also won via UD, 80-72, 80-72, 78-74, over Jestoni Racoma.