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MASAM SPORTS 10: I'M READY TO DO MY BEST AGAINST GARY RUSSELL JR. SAYS MARK MAGSAYO

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Thu, 13 Jan 2022



WBC mandatory challenger and No. 1 contender Mark Magsayo together with WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. featured their world championship through a virtual press conference. Their showdown will be on Saturday, January 22 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

Russell currently is the longest reigning male boxing champion and has held the featherweight title since 2015. He will fight in his sixth consecutive successful title defense against the hard-hitting Magsayo, who is fresh from a spectacular knockout over former champion Julio Ceja last August 21.

"Magnifico" Magsayo says he is very thankful to his team for realizing this title fight. He trained hard for three and a half months now, so he assured his fans he will climb the ring and face the champ well prepared.

He did not think Russell has fought opponents that have similar skills like him. The Tagbilaran, Bohol native will fight in there to show him something that the champion has never experienced before and see how the American reacts.

Magsayo added that he learned a lot from the Ceja fight. That match where he was trailing on the judges' scorecards gave him a lesson on how to adjust in the middle of a fight. He said the Ceja encounter will really help him against Russell.

“I respect Gary Russell Jr., he’s a great champion, but I’m winning this fight on January 22. I want to prove to the people everywhere that I’m the best featherweight in the world," vowed Magsayo.

He will show to the boxing fans all over the world that he is the best fighter in the division at present.

“I’m going to show the world that I’m the best at this weight. This is the fight that I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve been waiting patiently for my chance and I’m ready to do my best."

He said he had great sparring partners to prepare for Russell. This is his first world title fight and he going to give it his all. "I’m not trying to be the next Manny Pacquiao, but I’m trying to put my own mark on the history of this sport and for all Filipinos. I’m hungry to prove it all in the ring."

“I know he’s going to bring his talent into the ring, but I’m going to show everybody that I can deliver a great fight and become champion.”

Russell said he is willing to compete against "whoever, whenever and wherever." But he added that he can't force these guys to enter the ring and fight him. He just have to prepare to the best of his ability.

He sees Magsayo as "a good even-handed puncher and leans a little more to the right hand." He described the Filipino challenger as having good punching power, but it won't matter if he can’t hit his target.

Russell is grinding himself in training camp. He vowed matter that he is not going to make any excuses or complaints.

He clarified that if he is going to move up in weight, he wants to fight the champion. He is not interested to move up in weight just to stand in line to fight for the title.

He is fighting Magsayo because he moved up the rankings and earned this spot. He emphasized that everyone who he have competed against has been the next best contender under the champion.

Russell said he did not have any concerns with Magsayo’s power. He seldom have to come back after being behind on the scorecards. Magsayo had to come back in his last fight because he was losing on the cards and that shows some holes in his armor, added Russell.

Russell never overlooked anybody. He wanted to fight Gervonta Davis, the WBA regular lightweight champion. But he said he is focused on Magsayo. He stated that Magsayo was the one who worked his way into this position to fight him. "Davis is in no rush, so I’m going to remain focused on a true warrior who’s getting into the ring with me."

"I know Magsayo will be at his physical and mental best. I take my hat off to him, because he’s willing to put it on the line to prove he’s the best," appreciated the Washington, D.C. native. "Finally, we have another fighter with some heart who’s willing to fight. I want him to bring his best, so we’ll see who’s best is best.”


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

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