LAS VEGAS - Mark Magsayo started strongly and finished in spectacular fashion as he scored a sensational 10th-round knockout over Julio Ceja of Mexico in their 12-round featherweight fight on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
Magsayo, 26, sent his Mexican foe down in the early seconds of the opening round, but needed to survive Ceja's big comeback in the middle rounds to pull off the hard-earned victory.
After going down in the fifth canto with a huge body shot, the unbeaten native of Tagbilaran, Bohol came roaring back and put away the Mexican for good with two booming rights 50 seconds into the 10th round.
Shortly after referee Kenny Bayless signaled end to the fight, Magsayo shouted in joy and did a back flip in the middle of the ring to the cheers of the pro-Filipino fans in the venue.
He was later seen in a tight embrace with trainer Freddie Roach and wife Frances, who shed tears in the corner of the Filipino featherweight.
Magsayo is now 23-0 with 15 KOs and is in a postion to challenge champion Gary Russell for the WBC featherweight crown.
Ceja, who thrice previously challenged for a world title, had to be helped getting back to his feet as the Mexican took a little while lying on the canvass following the knockout.
The Mexican appeared to have controlled the fight following that early knockdown, continuously punishing Magsayo with vicious body punches that eventually floored the Filipino seconds before the fifth round ended.
Obviously spent, Magsayo willed his way back and engaged Ceja in toe-to-toe exchanges before catching the Mexican with that huge round in the 10th, followed by a short right that sent Ceja down for the knockout.
Ceja, 28, saw his record fall to 32-5-1 with 28 KOs.
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