Mark Magsayo showed what he's made of by weathering the storm and knocking out Julio Ceja for a shot at the WBC featherweight title.
Fight analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino said conditioning was always an issue for Magsayo, who tends to fade in the second half of his bouts.
This time, however, Magsayo showed he is conditioned enough to survive a knockdown and pull off a surprise against the aggressive Mexican.
"It was a gut check, a test of fire," said Tolentino. "And so far hindi siya nag-collapse."
The Tagbilaran City native actually got off a good start, connecting a left hook that dropped Ceja in the first round.
But Ceja recovered and engaged the Filipino in a brutal phonebook exchange. He timed Magsayo with a left hook, knocking down the Filipino puncher in the fifth.
"He has every reason to stop kasi tinatamaan siya e, pero tumayo pa rin siya," said Tolentino.
Magsayo got more punishment after that. But the unbeaten featherweight prospect got a second wind and exploded with two powerful right straights that knocked Ceja out cold.
"If you're a puncher, you don't stop punching. You keep on throwing leather," said Tolentino.
"Nakatama ng dalawang malinis na kanan at nakita n'yo naman ang pagkakahiga ni Ceja mala 'sleeping beauty' ang pagkaka knockout niya e."
The victory set Magsayo up for a WBC featherweight title clash against reigning champ[ion Gary Russel Jr.
Tolentino said Magsayo now has solved one of his weaknesses.
"Pero 'wag niyang kakalimutan na hindi pa tapos ang journey. Meron siyang sinagot na katanungan pero tuloy ang byahe. At magandang senyales ito," he said.
Tolentino added that Magsayo may have also been inspired by the huge crowd a T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"He rose to the occasion. It's not how you win. It's how you snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat that defines who you are," said Tolentino.