Magsayo's Big Day Has Arrived: Magnifico Will Challenge Russell for WBC-126 World Title Jan 22 in Atlantic City
By Carlos Costa
Thu, 23 Dec 2021
His biggest fight is finally here, and his fans are thrilled.
Unbeaten Filipino rising-star “Magnífico” Mark Magsayo, hailing from the paradise island Province of Bohol, will climb up to the ring to wage the most important fight of his life when he challenges skilled defending champion Gary Russell Jr., for the WBC Featherweight World Title in one month time, on Saturday. January 22, at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, live on Showtime.
The popular Boholano sensation Mark Magsayo (23-0, 16 KO’s), wants that and he has been closing in.
Pursuing this fight, Mark scored the most telling victory of his pro career last August in Las Vegas when he stopped Mexican former champ Julio “El Pollito” Ceja (32-5-1, 28 KO’s) in 10 hard-fought chapters in a rumble in which Magsayo was down in the all three score cards.
Magsayo drops Ceja.
In that war, Mark decked the Mexican in rounds one and ten; while the Pinoy himself was rocked down to the blue canvas once in round five. At the end, “Magnífico” prevailed.
Notably, the 26-year-old Magsayo will star in his 6th fight in the U.S.A. as he steps up to the plate for his dream fight: a shot at striking gold and absolute fans acclaim, the priceless shot at the Featherweight World Title.
For the crucial title rumble, Magsayo is being trained by Manny Pacquao’s long-time coach, Freddie Roach.
The Pinoy can boast victories over Mexican-Americans Pablo Cruz, Rigoberto Hermosillo and Chris Avalos.
Now, the next in line is Russell. Will Magsayo defeat him too?
"I am very grateful for this opportunity to fight for the WBC world title," said Magsayo, a former ALA fighter. “This is the fight that I want. I have worked hard for years. I will come to win and take this opportunity.
“There's a reason why Gary Russell is a champion, just like there's a reason I became the mandatory challenger.
“This will be a great fight for me to show to the world what Filipinos are made of.
“I have had a long road to get to this position. I will fight to honor everyone who helped me get here," told Mark to PBC.
Meanwhile, fight promoter Tom Brown, president of TGB Promotions had this to say about the WBC-126 world champion Gary Russell:
“Russell has been a force in the featherweight division for years with his dazzling abilities.
“He will once again defend his title against a hungry and powerful opponent when he faces Mark Magsayo," Brown shared.
“Magsayo won this title shot from his impressive 10th round knockout of Julio Ceja last August.
“So Magsayo will seek to prove that he is the future of the 126-pound division by defeating the WBC featherweight king, a champ who has reigned for long time.
“Russell has proven worthy of his top spot with his 5 successful title defences.
“This show is shaping up to be an electric night of boxing in Atlantic City," the TGB boss said.
Russell defeated Nyambayar in his last fight.
Gary Russell (31-1, 18 KO’s), a native of Capitol Heights, Maryland, has held his WBC featherweight title since way back in March of 2015 when he stopped in four stanzas Mexican multi-division world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (68-11, 55 KO’s), to emphatically capture the belt.
Cool, the 33-year-old American WBC world champion belongs to a true boxing family: He is trained by his dad/coach Gary Russell Sr., while his 2 younger boxer brothers are undefeated super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russel, and unbeaten bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell.
Surely, the one thing the Russell’s love to talk about at the dinner table is about boxing.
Remarkably, Gary Russell Jr., owns a TKO win over the reigning IBF featherweight world champion Kiko Martinez (43-10-2, 30 KO’s) of Spain; as well as a unanimous decision triumph over Mexican American former world champion “Jo Jo” Diaz (32-2-1, 15 KO’s).
Most recently, Gary Russell outpointed previously undefeated Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-2, 9 KO’s) of Mongolia on his way to securing the 5th defense of his title.
That was Russell’s last fight, and it unfolded way back in February of 2020.
Interestingly, Russell hasn’t seen any action ever since; while during that period of time the hot Magsayo has won 3 fights.
Will ring-rust affect Russell, while more activity benefit Magsayo?
In theory yes. That’s another reason why we need to watch the fight, to find out..
Hey, that doesn’t matter, thinks Russell. “I am ready, and I've been waiting to show my talent and get back in the ring.
“My opponent Mark Magsayo is one of Manny Pacquiao's fighters. Pacquiao is a legend in the sport, and I'm pretty sure that he has an eye for talent.
“I'm sure that Pacquiao signed Magsayo for a reason.
“I know that I am facing a guy who is willing to risk everything, with everything to gain and nothing to lose,” Russell said.
Then, fans wonder, will the skilled Russell retain his belt again with a clear win over Mark Magsayo?
Or will the fast ‘n furious Magsayo rock, stun and dethrone Russell to achieve glory and touch the stars?
Russell vs Magsayo for the WBC Featherweight World Title on Jan 22 is promoted by Premier Boxing Champions live on Showtime.
Good luck Mark!
Carlos Costa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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