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Mark Magsayo KO's Julio Ceja, nears title shot

Mark Magsayo (right) of the Philippines celebrates after knocking down Julio Ceja of Mexico during the WBA Featherweight Title Eliminator boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21, 2021 (Aug. 22, 2021, Philippine Time). AFP
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mark Magsayo moved one step closer to vying for the World Boxing Council featherweight championship after beating Mexican opponent Julio Ceja in an undercard match to the Manny Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugas showdown on Sunday (Philippine Time) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In a title eliminator, Magsayo went for the finish and knocked Ceja out in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round meeting.

Magsayo, the reigning Asian Boxing Council champ in the 126-pound division, staggered Ceja early on by knocking him down right at the first round.

Ceja recovered from the knockdown and hurled some body shots at Magsayo that eventually knocked him down in Round 5.

The bout became tight from there, but in Round 10, Magsayo landed a series of punches at Ceja's head that set up his knockout blow, a right hook.

The win could mean Magsayo, now at 23-0 with 16 knockouts, can challenge Gary Russell for the WBC title next.

Ceja, on the other hand, lost for just the fifth time in his career against 32 wins and one draw, but he has yet to score the win since 2017.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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