FORMER interim World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Jhack Tepora has challenged highly rated featherweight prospect Mark Magsayo to a fight that will determine who the best Filipino featherweight is right now.
“I challenge him because I believe I can beat him,” Tepora told SunStar Cebu. “The reason that I want to fight him is I believe I can knock him out. I also want to show his fans and my fans who is world class in our division.”
Magsayo is fresh from an impressive 10th round knockout of ex-world champion Julio Ceja in a World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight title eliminator in undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas show on Aug. 21, 2021 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. He, however, was knocked down in the fifth round but regained his composure and knocked Ceja out cold with a solid right straight.
The 26-year-old Magsayo won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) International featherweight title and earned mandatory challenger status for the WBC featherweight belt currently held by Gary Russell Jr. He’s also rated No. 2 by the WBO and No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation.
“He won’t last six rounds (with Russell). He must fight me first so that he’ll go down early,” said the 26-year-old Tepora, a native of Danao.
Tepora doesn’t like how Magsayo carries himself. He finds him arrogant and a snob. That’s why he wants to teach him a lesson inside the ring.
“He thinks he’s already a star. When our paths meet, I’ll do to him what I did to Lusanda Komanisi. He has this signature backflip but when we meet he’ll be tumbling down,” said Tepora, who knocked out Komanisi in two rounds in 2017.
Magsayo has only been dropped twice in his career–one against Ceja and the other against Chris Avalos in 2016. He, however, finds his way to stand up from a knockdown and knock his opponents out.
Tepora has not fought since a first round knockout upset in the hands of veteran Oscar Escandon in 2019. He was dropped by a body shot in the opening round and was counted out.
Tepora has been training back in shape at his older brother Jingjing Tepora’s gym in Danao. He’s preparing for a possible fight before the end of the year.
“My training is going well. Hopefully I’ll be able to fight in October,” he said. “I want Magsayo next.”
Tepora’s upcoming fight will be at lightweight and then he’ll be returning to featherweight in the hopes of a shot at Magsayo.
Tepora is 23-1 with 17 knockouts, while Magsayo, a native of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, is 23-0 with 16 knockouts.