Mark Magsayo wants to challenge WBC champ Gary Russell Jr.

Published September 8, 2021, 5:55 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Undefeated Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo has set his sights on the WBC belt of Gary Russell Jr.

Mark Magsayo (left) lands a punch on Julio Ceja during their WBC featherweight title eliminator bout at T-Mobile Arena on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)

Magsayo became the top contender for the WBC’s featherweight division after knocking out Mexican foe Julio Ceja in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugas title match last month.

Should Russell stay in the 126 lb division, Magsayo is all set to punch his way to his first major title match.

“Kung ‘di siya aakyat ng 130 [lbs], puwede po kaming maglaban kais ako na ‘yong mandatory challenger niya sa WBC,” said Magsayo, who remained unbeaten in 23 matches on top of 16 knockouts, in an interview with One Sports’ The Game. “So ‘pag ‘di siya umakyat, puwede kaming maglaban.”

It would be recalled that his fight against Ceja was tagged as a WBC world title eliminator.

The Boholano pugilist scored a tenth-round knockout win over Ceja with a lethal right hand that floored the Mexican boxer out cold at the corner ring with 50 seconds left.

Russell, for his part, has not yet commented on a possible bout with Magsayo but instead issued a challenge against Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Devin Haney, and Vasiliy Lomachenko, who fight in the 135 and 140 lbs.

Lomachenko had defeated Russell to capture the WBO featherweight title back in June 2014, which marked the American’s first career loss.

Since then, the 33-year-old Russell won seven straight matches with the most recent coming from Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia in February last year to improve at 31-1 with 18 knockouts. (Carlo Anolin) ###

 
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