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Magsayo ready for Vargas


PhilBoxing.com




WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo shrugged off Mexican challenger Rey Vargas’ boast of wresting the crown when they meet in a scheduled 12-round bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, this morning (Manila time) and said in the battle of undefeated fighters, he’ll be the only one standing in the end.

Vargas, 31, said he’s ready to trade with Magsayo if that’s what it takes to win the title and chided the Filipino for acting worried in preparing for the bout. “I’m not worried,” snapped back Magsayo. “My confidence is high. I was eight years old when Sen. Manny (Pacquiao) beat (Marco Antonio) Barrera in San Antonio where I’m fighting Vargas. That was when I decided to become a boxer. This is a dream come true for me.”

Magsayo, 27, worked with five sparmates who simulated Vargas’ style at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles where coach Freddie Roach and assistant Marvin Somodio provided guidance for his first title defense. Vargas is 4 1/2 inches taller at 5-10 1/2 and has a 2 1/2 advantage in reach as Magsayo’s sparmates approximated the Mexican’s size. The sparmates were 5-10 Dominique (Dimes) Crowder (13-0, 8 KOs), 5-9 Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs), 5-11 Bryan Chevalier (16-1-1, 12 KOs), 5-10 Dariial Kuchmenov (5-0, 3 KOs) and 5-9 1/2 Juan Carlos Burgos (34-6-3, 21 KOs). “Lahat sila mala Vargas ang style pero sina Baez at Burgos medyo brawler just in case kailangan mag-adjust,” said Somodio. “Mabilis ang footwork ni Mark at maganda head movement. Mapuruhan niya si Vargas, babagsak ‘yan. Exciting ang laban na ‘to.”

Jon Schorle will be the referee with Tim Cheatham, Jesse Reyes and David Sutherland the judges. Both Magsayo and Vargas said the scorecards won’t matter as they expect the fight to end inside the distance.

Former WBC International and Silver superflyweight champion Silvester Lopez, who fought Vargas twice in 2014, advised Magsayo to counter off the Mexican’s left jab and force the action in close quarters. Lopez floored Vargas in their first meeting but surrendered on his stool after hurting a knee in a freak accident. In the rematch, Lopez said he was ahead on points but the referee stopped it in the eighth round to award Vargas a TKO win. “Huwag palayuin si Vargas,” said Lopez. “Dapat kabit-kabit ang suntok ni Magsayo at may diin. Malambot ang panga ni Vargas kaya babagsak ‘yan kung tamaan. Mag-ingat si Mark pag-bitaw ng straight at huwag yuyuko kasi malakas ang upper ni Vargas. Katawan at ulo ang target ni Mark para ‘di malaman ni Vargas kung saan manggagaling ang suntok.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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