Mayor Baba Yap expressed optimism that Tagbilaran City native Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo would fill the void left by Manny Pacquiao and be the next big thing in Philippine boxing.
Yap, who was among those who helped Magsayo start his boxing campaign in the US, hopes that Filipinos would also soon rally behind the Boholano the way they did for Pacquiao throughout his stellar career.
“Hopefully siya [Magsayo] maoy mo puli sa career ni Manny Pacquiao na magdala gyud sa tingog or magdala gyud sa garbo sa tibuok Pilipinas, so magpaobot ta sa mga next fights niya,” Yap said over station dyRd on Monday, a day after Magsayo clinched his first major world title.
Yap congratulated Magsayo, calling the 26-year-old boxer the “pride of Tagbilaran City” after he wrested the WBC world featherweight title from a topnotch foe in Gary Russell, Jr., the longest-reigning male champion.
Magsayo emerged triumphant with a majority decision during his 12-round bout against Russell in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday morning (Manila time).
The victory also earned the praise of Pacquiao himself as the senator welcomed Magsayo to the pantheon of Filipino world champions.
“Congratulations, @markmagsayo_MMM, on your first world championship! Thank you for bringing honor to our country by becoming the latest Filipino world boxing champion. Welcome to the club,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao took Magsayo under his wing by signing him as his ward through MP Promotions in 2020.
Magsayo was introduced by Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap to Pacquiao which led to the now-thriving partnership.
Magsayo and MP Promotions sealed their two-year deal during a meeting at the fighting senator’s residence at the upscale Forbes Park in Makati City in March 2020.
Just four months after, Magsayo relocated to the US to train at the Wild Card Gym under Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach in Hollywood.
Matchmaking for Magsayo under MP Promotions and the mentorship of Roach are both seen to propel the young boxer’s bid for superstardom as he gets a chance to showcase his talents in the US under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
After the partnership was set, Pacquiao himself has openly shared his belief that Magsayo is destined for boxing greatness.
Pacquiao said that he sees himself in the undefeated Boholano.
“He reminds me of myself, how we both struggled to come from nothing to world-rated contender. I love his work ethic and desire to become a world champion,” said Pacquiao after Magsayo signed with MP Promotions.
“I will do everything to help promote Mark and make his dreams a reality,” he added. (RT)