Best Shots: Mark Magsayo decisions Gary Russell Jr to lift world title

Ads

Longtime champ Mark Magcio defeated Gary Russell Jr. by majority decision to become the new featherweight champion live from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday, Jan. 22. Champions event live on Showtime.

Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr.
Gary Russell Jr. | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Mark Magsayo
Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr.
Gary Russell Jr. | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

“This is my dream come true,” Magsayo said after the fight. “Since I was a kid, this has been my dream. I am very proud to be a champion now. Many thanks to the Filipino fans for the support.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

One of Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao’s patrons, Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) was able to end the reign of the longest running world boxing champion by defeating Russell (31-2, 18 KOs) via 12 tough rounds. Magsayo was able to use the advantage of his size to rely on Russell throughout the fight and benefited from an obvious injury to Russell’s right shoulder that became noticeable in the fourth round.

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Ads

“I think I have a torn tendon in my right shoulder,” Russell said. “I haven’t competed in nearly two years. That’s what real champions do. I wanted to step into the ring and show my edge regardless of injury.

“I hurt my shoulder about two weeks ago,” Russell continued. “But I got into the fight because I’m a true champion and that’s what warriors do. I will fight no matter the situation. I refuse not to compete and show my skills to my fans and people who have come to show support and love. Please believe I will be back. I still want these fights.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

“I learned he got injured in the fourth round,” Magsayo said. “I took advantage of that because he only used one hand. This was my chance to follow up. My coach was telling me to use good combinations and follow up. He said this is your chance to become a champion and now I’m a champion.”

“I felt like I was still winning the fight to be honest”

Ads

Russell seemed to hit the shoulder by throwing up his short right hand and immediately receded from the pain and backed out of the action. Russell managed to reset his game plan and succeeded in focusing only on the forms of his left hand. He slowed the action and fired a few clean shots to keep Magsayo away in a public ring show, but that wasn’t enough to win the judges.

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Magsayo coach Freddie Roach managed 41% of his shots in the competition, a significant improvement from the 28% clip called by Russell’s previous eight opponents, according to CompuBox. Russell was limited to only 64 knockouts and went down from 150 to 69.

Magsayo continued to apply pressure in the subsequent rounds and managed to lead that activity to victory, including an attack that nearly brought down Russell late in the tenth round, impressing the Filipino fans in attendance.

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Ads

At the end of the 12 rounds, Magsayo outpaced the decision on referee cards with a score of 114-114 that was overruled by two judges who saw the match 115-113 for Magsayo. After the fight, Russell indicated he thought he was still winning the fight, while Magsayo left open the possibility of a rematch.

“I believed in my skills and what he brought to the ring,” Russell said. “I felt like I was still winning the fight to be honest. Hell yeah I want a rematch. Does he want a rematch? That is the question.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magcio
It’s all over | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Gary Russell Jr and Mark Magsayo after the fight
Gary Russell Jr. and Mark Magsayo after the fight | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

“It’s up to my promotion team,” Magsayo said when asked about a possible rematch. “But I am willing to fight anyone. I am the hero now!”

Mark Magcio victorious
Mark Magcio victorious | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Mark Magsayo
Mark Magcio awards his WBC featherweight title belt A Kiss | Amanda Westcott/Showtime
New WBC Featherweight Champion Mark Magcio
Mark Magcio becomes the new WBC featherweight champion | Amanda Westcott/Showtime

In the co-main event, lightweight contender Super Superior Mathias (18-1, 18 KOs) scored a TKO in the ninth round on Petros Ananyan (16-3-2, 7 KOs) after dropping Ananyan at the end of the round, prompting the referee to stop the fight based on On the proposal of the first row doctor in the ring between rounds.

In the televised opening match, strong rival Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-2-1, 9 KOs) and one-time-defeated Sakarya Lucas (25-1-1, 17 KOs) competed in a lively draw after 10 rounds of super. Featherweight work. The fight was marked by a controversial ruling with a clear knockout blow to Lucas that would have awarded the late substitute the victory.

Ads

Leave a Comment