Perfect 10 as 'Magnifico' Magsayo bolsters growing reputation as a KO artist
'Magnifico' mark Magsayo is armed with a pair of dynamite fists. Ed C. Tolentino

APPEARING in the undercard of ‘Pinoy Pride 29’ last Saturday at the University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao City, undefeated featherweight (126 pounds) prospect ‘Magnifico’ Mark Magsayo claimed another knockout victim when he stopped Thai Sukkasem Kiethyonguth in five rounds of a non-title clash.

After throwing probing punches in the opening round, Magsayo buckled down to serious business in the second round and started nailing a recklessly lunging Sukkasem with crispy right uppercuts.

Sukkasem stood his ground until Magsayo exploded in the fifth stanza. A left-right combination floored Sukkasem early in the fifth. The Thai got up, but Magsayo went after him like a shark going crazy at the sight of a hapless prey. A bone-jarring overhand right from Magsayo flattened Sukkasem and almost sent him straight out of the ring. Sukkasem was able to regain equal footing, but the referee wisely stopped the carnage.

Magsayo improved to a perfect 10-0 with eight knockouts. The 19-year-old native of Tagbilaran City, Bohol has knocked out six of his last seven opponents and is now meriting serious attention because of his innate punching power.

“Magnifico po ang nickname ko kasi sabi ni Sir ALA (boxing patriarch Antonio L. Aldeguer) magaling daw akong lumaban,” Magsayo told after the impressive win.

The third of four children, Jesselmark Araula Magsayo started boxing at age eight. He figured in more than 200 amateur fights and was being groomed for a possible spot in the Olympics when he decided to turn pro in May 2013.

“Naisip ko mag pro boxer na kasi ang pangarap ko talaga balang araw maging world champion,” he said.

Magsayo won four of his first five fights by knockout and has since been picking up steam. In May 2014, he faced his first foreign adversary, South Korean Hyuk Tak Joo, and hammered out a four-round unanimous decision win - which was also the last time Magsayo went the full distance.

Magsayo, who has made it a habit to execute a backflip after each devastating win, lists Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as his boxing idols. He hopes to follow in their footsteps by winning his share of world titles.

Magsayo still has a long way to go, but armed with a pair of dynamite fists, his is a boxing journey that figures to be very exciting.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @edtolentino