WBC Champion Magsayo Seeking Help For Fellow Boxers, Trainers

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by Brian Yalung

WBC Featherweight champion Mark Magsayo is one of many Filipinos constrained to stay indoors as efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic continues. But similar to the concern of other locals, the undefeated boxing champion is concerned about the welfare of fellow boxers in terms of livelihood.

In an exclusive interview, Magsayo revealed how some boxers and trainers are residing at local gyms. And with the lockdown in force, most need help to get through the pandemic.

“The gyms are closed and there are a lot of people like trainers and boxers staying in. Some are getting food and the gym owners are doing their best to help support them,” Magsayo said.

File photo shows Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo preparing for training. [Brian Yalung photo]
File photo shows Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo preparing for training. [Brian Yalung photo]

For his part, Magsayo is practically helpless in extending any help to his fellow boxers and trainers. His hands are tied like his comrades. However, he feels that easing the quarantine restrictions could help – especially if boxing gyms are included in exemptions even with just limited access.

Hands Tied

“Right now, even I don’t have work. The best I can do right now is share what boxers and trainers are experiencing right now. I hope that through this, people can get a clearer picture of what we are going through, same with other athletes,” Magsayo explained.

“In the event that quarantine is lifted, I am hoping that gyms are allowed to open even with limited access,” he added.
Roach keeping track of Magnifico

Magsayo is currently in the Philippines and was scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles. He and his wife decided to forego the trip, aware of the risks that travel may bring if they went ahead with their plans. Regardless, he still keeps in touch with his coach – Freddie Roach. “Magnifico” shared that he was just advised to keep on training to make sure he stays in shape.

“Coach Freddie (Roach) told me to just keep on working out to make sure that I remain in top condition but not overdo it. I make it a point to work out daily at home,” Magsayo said.

Magsayo’s message to boxers, fellow Filipinos

When asked on what message he had for boxers, Magsayo had this to say:

“To my fellow boxers, don’t lose hope. This situation is not permanent. Even during the lockdown, make sure to continue working out in whatever way. This is just a test. Keep fighting!,” said Magsayo.

Magnifico also ended with his message to the Filipino people during these hard times.

“To my fellow Pinoys, the Filipino is strong. We weathered the worst cases in the past. Let us unite and continue to pray and be disciplined to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”