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Mark Magsayo now '90 percent ready' for Haro

Mark Magsayo met with some reporters on Saturday.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mark Magsayo said on Saturday that he is nearing the game shape he needs to compete against American opponent Jose Haro on Sept. 24 (Philippine Time) in Los Angeles.

"Yung porsyento ko mga nasa 90 na," the unbeaten Magsayo said in an online press conference.

He added that the remaining 10 percent is about making the 126-pound limit.

"Konti na lang, 9-10 pounds," Magsayo bared his current weight almost three weeks from fight night.

The 20-0 Magsayo, who first starred under the now defunct ALA Boxing, will be making his first bout under new promoter MP Promotions against Haro for the IBF international featherweight title.

A win by Magsayo, currently ranked number five in the featherweights by Ring Magazine, will bring him closer to a shot at the IBF world belt currently held by another unbeaten pugilist, Josh Warrington of England.

However, the possibility of going for the WBC title of American boxer Gary Russell is also on the horizon for Magsayo.

In fact, Magsayo said in the Usapang Sports forum of the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports on Aug. 27 that he prefers Russell, who has held the WBC belt for five years already, over Warrington because Magsayo believes he can beat Russell with his current skill set polished further by Manny Pacquiao's former trainer Freddie Roach.

Magsayo, however, said on Saturday that he has to take care of Haro first if he wants either Warrington or Russell next.

"Sabi sa akin ni Sir Sean Gibbons na pag maganda ang performance ko ngayon, ipapalaban nila ako kay Josh Warrington or Gary Russell," Magsayo bared his conversation with Gibbons.

Haro is no pushover.

Like Magsayo, Haro was a star in the amateur ranks, even trying to crack USA's 2008 Olympic squad, before eventually deciding to turn pro in 2010.

Haro's career took a pivotal turn in 2017 when he knocked out fellow American Daniel Franco for the then vacant United States Boxing Association .

However, the devastating aftermath of the knockout, that is, Franco went into a coma but eventually recovered, led to a three-year forced hiatus that saw potential opponents backing out partly due to Franco's health condition then.

The 33-year-old Haro returned to the ring on March 1 (Philippine Time) in Tijuana, beating Mexican Genaro Rodriguez via unanimous decision to go up to 15-1-1.

"Hindi tayo maga-underestimate sa kalaban natin," Magsayo vowed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_