Another Filipino fighter trained by Freddie Roach will try to take a significant step toward a title shot August 21. BoxingScene.com has learned that undefeated Mark Magsayo v Julio Ceja have agreed to meet in a WBC featherweight elimination match on the Errol Spence Jr.-Manny Pacquiao undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
FOX will broadcast the 12-round, 126-pound bout between the Philippines’ Magsayo and Mexico’s Ceja as part of a telecast that’ll air before the pay-per-view portion of the Spence-Pacquiao show.
Magsayo (22-0, 15 KOs), who is co-promoted by Pacquiao’s company, is listed fifth by the WBC in its 126-pound rankings. Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KOs) is the WBC’s 11th-rated featherweight contender.
Barring a draw, the winner will move closer toward a shot at long-reigning WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs).
Magsayo, 26, stopped Mexico’s Pablo Cruz (21-4, 6 KOs) in the fourth round of his most recent appearance, a non-televised eight-rounder April 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Roach trains Magsayo and Pacquiao.
Ceja, 28, is 0-2-1 in his past three fights, but the former WBC super bantamweight champion nearly pulled off an upset in his last fight.
He beat Brandon Figueroa on one scorecard, 116-112, in November 2019. Their fight resulted in a split draw because Figueroa defeated him on another card, 115-113, and a third judge scored their 12-round, 122-pound championship match even, 114-114, on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Ceja, who resides in Palmdale, California, has not fought in the 19 months since he faced Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) in what was supposed to be a shot at Figueroa’s WBA world super bantamweight title. An unusually overweight Ceja came in at 126½ pounds for their 122-pound title fight and thus was ineligible to win Figueroa’s belt.
Ceja consequently has moved up from 122 pounds to the 126-pound limit to meet Magsayo.
In the main event, Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will defend his IBF and WBC welterweight titles against the legendary Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
Pacquiao, 42, will end a two-year layoff versus Spence, of DeSoto, Texas, in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View bout. The Filipino southpaw hasn’t boxed since he edged previously unbeaten Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) by split decision in their 12-round fight for Thurman’s WBA “super” welterweight title in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.