Magsayo still ‘a work in progress’


    A work in progress.

    This was how noted American trainer Freddie Roach described his latest Filipino ward, undefeated featherweight Mark Magsayo, who scored a close split decision win over

    Mexican Rigoberto Hermosillo at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles over the weekend.

    “We’ve been working together for a while now but we need some more time and we need to connect a little bit better. He wasn’t following my lead,” explained Roach, who handled “Magnifico” for the first time in the ring.

    “You know, he’s one of the best punchers in the gym. He knocks people down all the time.

    But he wasn’t letting his hands go tonight,” he added in a story written by Anthony Cocks and posted on yesterday.

    “I kept urging him to throw more combinations and more power and he gave it a little bit at a time and it was enough to win the fight. I was grateful for that,” said the famous ring guru.

    Magsayo, who remained undefeated in 21 fights (14 knockouts), credited Roach for his performance, saying:  “I’m very happy to get this victory.  Freddie got me in great shape for this fight and I’m happy working with him.

    “I faced a tough fighter tonight but I know I’m ready to beat anyone in the division.”

    The Pinoy fighter is listed as No. 4 in the featherweight rankings of the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation and No. 14 in the World Boxing Association ratings.

    Roach, who used to be the chief cornerman of reigning World Boxing Association super welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, was more tempered in his expectations about what the Tagbilaran City native is capable of at the moment.

    He, however, had one boxer in mind for Magsayo: American WBC featherweight champion Garry Russel Jr.

    “Gary Russell, I would love to fight him. The thing is, we need a lot more work in the gym,” said Roach.