CEBU CITY – Going into his first title clash against his first Mexican opponent, ALA gym prospect Mark Magsayo is getting the best preparation possible for his July 11 fight.
The undefeated featherweight, who is 10-0, with 8 KOs, after joining the pro ranks in 2013, is getting much valuable sparring time with former five-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr.
“Magsayo and Nonito have been doing really well. Both of them have been impressive in sparring,” said ALA gym trainer Edito Villamor.
Magsayo will be facing Mexican Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12KOs) for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) youth featherweight title at the Pinoy Pride 31.
The fight is the undercard of the Donnie Nietes vs. Francisco Rodriguez main event.
On the other hand, Donaire is also preparing for a fight against Frenchman Anthony Settoul in Macau on July 18 and picked Magsayo as his main sparring partner for his comeback bout.
And the 20-year-old former amateur standout has been relishing the opportunity.
“It is a huge boost to his confidence and it toughens him mentally. Sparring with Nonito also adds to his experience,” said Villamor.
Like Magsayo, Donaire is from Bohol and is 34-3 with 22 KOS.
Donaire, 32, won his first world titles – the IBF and IBO flyweight crowns – when he stopped Vic Darchinyan on July 7, 2007. He also won the WBA super flyweight, WBC and WBO bantamweight, WBO super bantamweight and the WBA super featherweight crown before suffering his latest loss to Nicholas Walters last year.
“Nonito’s skills are at a very high level, and once you spar with a fighter with the caliber of Nonito, it will improve your speed and skills,” said Villamor.
As for his Mexican foe, Villamor said they are preparing Magsayo for any kind of style as they have no idea what type of fighter Reyes is.
“We have no idea about the opponent because we haven’t seen his video. We are preparing Mark for three styles of sparring partners so that he can easily adjust,” said Villamor.
But based on his record at boxrec.com, the go to site for boxing records, Reyes has lost thrice in his last five fights.
His last fight was a second-round win against a Reyes
Prior that, he was stopped in four rounds by Carlos Ramirez (16-0), and was stopped in six rounds by Eduardo Ramirez (10-0).
In contrast, Magsayo’s last four fights ended in knockout victories.
He stopped Thai Sukkasem Keityongyuth in five rounds, Moon Sun Jung in two rounds, journeyman Jessie Tuyor in one round and Ernesto Fontanilla in six rounds.