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MASAM SPORTS 54: MARK MAGSAYO STARTS TRAINING IN APRIL FOR DEFENSE AGAINST REY VARGAS


PhilBoxing.com




WBC featherweight champion Mark "Magnifico" Magsayo has started early training for his first title defense against Mexican challenger Rey Vargas on July 9 in San Antonio, Texas.

His training though will peak when he returns to the United States Tuesday and will be in stiff preparations with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at Wild Card gym.

“Training with Freddie Roach starts in April,” Magsayo was quoted by Inquirer Sports during the PSA Forum. “But I have been training even though I am on vacation. I’ve not been careless despite being on vacation.”

"Vargas is also a great boxer. I watched his fight and knew his style. This is a good matchup and it’s going to be another challenge for me,” said the 26-year-old Magsayo as quoted by Manila Bulletin.

“I’d be facing a boxer with a different style again. Interesting matchup because he’s undefeated and tall,” added Magsayo, who was with MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons at the virtual PSA Forum.

Gibbons disclosed that the bout against Vargas was already set when the Mexican boxer was the mandatory challenger for then champion Gary Russell but was injured.

“We got the opportunity to fight Gary knowing that if we won, Rey Vargas was our first defense. So it was already predetermined before Mark fought that [next] would be Rey Vargas which were fine with,” said Gibbons.

“When you’re the champ, whoever they offer you, whoever they put in front of you, that’s who you need to fight when it’s mandatory,” added the international matchmaker.

Magsayo returned home on March 3 after almost two years of training and fighting in the United States. He won the WBC world featherweight title from American Gary Russell Jr. at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey via majority decision, 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114.

Magsayo will again undergo tough preparations for Vargas, a former WBC super bantamweight champion, who is undefeated at 35-0 with 22 knockouts.

Magsayo, whose record is also immaculate at 24-0 with 16 knockouts, also made a courtesy call on his main promoter Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

“He told me that I need to use head movement and have a good counter against a taller opponent,” said Magsayo, referring to Vargas who has a three and a half inch height advantage.

“He also said that I need to double my training because I’m the defending champion.”

He was very elated having faced his hero and handed him his title belt. “The moment I have been waiting for, finally! To bring the belt to the best and my idol Manny Pacquiao. Thank you for the advice. I will work harder next fight,” added the Tagbilaran-born world champ.

Pacquiao has been very supportive of Magsayo and let him fight on the undercard of his match against Yordenis Ugas. “He reminds me of myself, how we both struggled to come from nothing to a world-rated contender," Pacquiao said about Magsayo as quoted by Inquirer Sports.

“I love his work ethic and desire to become a world champion, and I will do everything to help promote Mark and make his dreams a reality.”

* * *

P. S. This writer will start the campaign for reelection on March 25 and will be back after the May 9 elections.


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


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