By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Mar. 27, 2014
GLENDALE, Calif. – Just like the English translation of his name, Marvin Mabait seems like a nice guy. But inside the ring, he is as vicious as they come.
With a record of 19 wins, one loss and two draws, the 122-pounder has already knocked out 13 opponents, with four of those coming in the first round.
His most recent fight lasted only 36 seconds, giving him the interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) intercontinental bantamweight title, which he will defend in Mexico tomorrow.
“I’m excited. This is my first chance to defend my belt. And I’m fighting another Mexican,” Mabait said.
While he may not be well-known yet, the rising star has already faced off with the best.
Mabait, a Zamboanga-native, has been tapped as a sparring partner for Nonito Donaire, Brian Viloria, Chinese sensation Zou Shiming, and other champions.
He is also trained by Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune. Though Mabait is too small to spar with him, he also works out with the “Pacman.”
“I get pushed to work hard more because their training is more intense. I also try to follow their techniques, their styles,” he added.
Mabait arrived in California five months ago, just before the Zamboanga siege. While the crisis has been contained, he said his family remains in danger and his motivation is to fight for his family.
“It’s a really tough situation there. There are a lot of killings, kidnappings. So I try to do what I can for my family while I’m here,” he said.
Mabait is the third ranked bantamweight by the WBO, and he hopes to climb higher after his Friday night clash against Alejandro Hernandez in Mexico.
With him fighting in enemy territory, Mabait believes he has no choice but to win by knockout, as Mexican judges tend to side towards their countrymen when it comes to split decisions.
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