Rematch with Russell? Magsayo 'willing to fight anybody'

Published January 23, 2022, 4:08 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Undefeated Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo made his dream come true after overwhelming Gary Russell Jr. to capture the WBC featherweight title in their 12-round world title clash at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City in New Jersey on Saturday, Jan. 22 (Sunday in Manila).

Mark Magsayo (right) and Gary Russell Jr. trade punches in their 12-round world title clash at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City in New Jersey on Saturday, Jan. 22 (Sunday in Manila). (Showtime Boxing)

As soon as Magsayo was declared as the champion, talks of a possible rematch have already floated given that Russell apparently suffered a torn tendon in his right shoulder two weeks prior to the match.

And the new WBC featherweight title champion won’t back down from any fight.

“It’s up to sir Sean Gibbons (MP Promotions president) and my promotions. It’s up to them,” said Magsayo, who remained undefeated in 24 matches on top of 16 knockouts. “But I’m willing to fight anybody now. I’m a champion now.”

While it is too early to discuss possible scenarios, veteran boxing scribe Dan Rafael said in a tweet that a mandatory fight doesn’t give a rematch clause for Russell.

Just like what Magsayo said, it will boil down to their respective promotions and the world-sanctioning body that is the WBC.

The 26-year-old Tagbilaran, Bohol native used his improved boxing style and came in from all angles to assault Russell, who was hasn’t seen action since his last win and title defense in February 2020 against Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia.

The fourth round saw Russell grimacing after a jab attempt to Magsayo which apparently was the result of the torn tendon in his right shoulder.

From that point on, the 33-year-old American southpaw left his jab gaming behind and shifted his focus to counterpunching but Magsayo of MP Promotions continued to make his presence felt by advancing with powerful combinations and body shots.

Asked if he would be up for a rematch, Russell answered with conviction, “Hell, yeah!”

“Will he (Magsayo) want a rematch? That’s the question. I’d rematch him,” said Russell, who suffered his second career loss with 31 wins and 18 KOs.

“I refuse to put this fight back and I fought with one arm. He had his hands full with a fighter with one arm. The whole fight I gave him a boxing lesson.” (Carlo Anolin) ###

 
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