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MASAM SPORTS 8: WILL MARK MAGSAYO'S LONG-TIME DREAM FOR A WORLD TITLE COME TRUE?


PhilBoxing.com




Undefeated world featherweight contender Mark "Magnifico" Magsayo has long been dreaming of fighting for a world title. The chance to become world champion will come on January 22 when he fights longtime WBC featherweight champion Gary Allen Russell Jr. at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to fight on Showtime for the WBC world title,” said Magsayo as told to Boxing Scene.

Magsayo is fresh from a magnificent 10th round knockout of former WBC world super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja of Mexico in their WBC title eliminator on August 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas undercard. His unblemished record improved to 23-0 with 16 KOs.

Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) has been the WBC featherweight champion since 2015 but has fought only once in the last two years, winning by a convincing unanimous decision over Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia to defend his title belt for the fifth time last February 8, 2020 at the PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

His only career loss was dealt by Ukraine's Vasiliy Lomachenko on June 21, 2014 by majority decision at the StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S. for the vacant WBO featherweight title.

Russel finally won the world title over Mexico's Jhonny Gonzalez by TKO4 on March 28, 2015 at the Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.grabbing the WBC featherweight title.

Magsayo highly respected Russell but the WBO international featherweight titlist from Tagbilaran City, Bohol is extremely energized to realize his long time dream of becoming a world champion.

“This is the fight that I want and have been working hard to get for years. I am going to come to win and to make the most of this chance,” Magsayo said. “There is a reason Gary is a champion, just like there is a reason I became the mandatory challenger."

"This is going to be a great fight for me to show the world what Filipinos are made of. I’ve had a long road to get to this position and I will be fighting in honor of everyone who helped me get here," added Magsayo.

Mark Magsayo’s staggering knockout win over Julio Ceja was named as the Premier Boxing Champions’ Knockout of the Year for 2021. The PBC posted on social media that Magsayo earned a combined 42.4 percent of the votes cast on its Twitter and YouTube polls.

Magsayo’s savage 10th round knockout over the point leading Ceja on August 21 got more votes than the stoppages of WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis over Mario Barrios. Jaron Ennis over Thomas Dulorme, and Anthony Dirrell over Marcos Hernandez.

Magsayo and Ceja went down the canvas a combined three times. Ceja was down first but he regained dominance to send Magsayo to the floor in the fifth round. Magsayo pummeled and decked Ceja in the 10th to get his second straight knockout in 2021.

Magsayo was also named Prospect of the Year by the World Boxing Council because of the KO triumph over Ceja in their world title eliminator.

“Thank you to everyone who voted and everyone who made me a part of this. I will keep working hard,” the former ALA Gym fighter wrote on social media on Wednesday.

The WBC Comeback of the Year, on the other hand went to Nonito Donaire Jr., who regained his status being a world champion by knocking out Nordine Oubaali in the fourth round in May 29 to seize the WBC bantamweight title, 18 months after losing his WBA title in a Fight of the Year with Naoya Inoue.

Magsayo may have a hard time winning a title belt, according to former two-division champion Gerry Peñalosa as quoted by GMA News. "First of all he has to improve his stamina because if he is going to fight world-caliber champions in the featherweight division they are all good, there is no easy fight. Second is his defense, he can be erratic and overly excited to finish,” Peñalosa said.

Peñalosa would like to see Magsayo win a world title, but he also believes that the American might be too much for the Filipino challenger. "Russell is way better than Ceja so it cannot be compared. Russell is on a different level stylistically. He has good footwork and hand speed though if he gets hit by Mark he can go down,” he said.

We hope Magsayo will hit Russel with a lucky punch and score an upset victory.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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