MARK Magsayo is brimming with confidence that he’ll end former world champion Julio Ceja’s night early in one of the main featured fights of the Pacquiao vs. Ugas show Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021 (PH time) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“If I win this fight – I’m sure I’m going to win this fight – my dream is to become a world champion. Let’s see what Ceja does. It’s a great fight. Am I going to knock him out? Of course,” Magsayo said in the event’s final presser.
The 26-year-old Magsayo, who got into boxing because of his idol Manny Pacquiao, is ecstatic after finally fighting in the same card with the eight-division world champion.
“I want to thank God for putting me here and for the opportunity. I want to thank my promoters. I was dreaming and praying that I would be on the undercard of a Manny Pacquiao fight. Now my dream has come true. So, I’ve put my all into winning this fight and I will be victorious,” he said.
Magsayo is training under the tutelage of Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Magsayo, a native of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, has been making waves in the American boxing scene, winning back-to-back fights since moving his training camp to the US. He beat Rigoberto Hermosillo by split decision and Pablo Cruz via a fourth round stoppage.
Magsayo is on the brink of a world title shot. He’s rated No. 3 by the World Boxing Organization and No. 5 by both the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Council (WBC) as a featherweight.
However, standing in front of his way is a hungry former world champion that wants to return to the top.
Ceja had a short reign as WBC super bantamweight champion. He won the interim belt against Hugo Ruiz in 2015. He was then elevated as regular champion but lost his belt to Ruiz in a rematch six months later.
“This is a great opportunity. I’m really motivated to become world champion. I’m ready to win this Saturday and a world title. Don’t miss this fight because we’re here to win. When it’s Mexico vs. the Philippines, you know it’s going to be spectacular,” said Ceja.
Ceja has not won a fight since beating Breilor Teran by unanimous decision in 2017. He lost back-to-back fights to Franklin Manzanilla and Guillermo Rigondeaux, and settled for a split draw with Brandon Figueroa in a World Boxing Association super bantamweight fight in 2019.
Magsayo, a product of the now defunct ALA Gym, is 22-0 with 15 knockouts, while Ceja is 32-4-1 with 28 knockouts.