Unbeaten Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo is ready to wage war with reigning WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City in New Jersey on Saturday, Jan. 22 (Sunday in Manila).

Mark Magsayo and Gary Russell Jr. (AFP / PBC)

“I want to prove to the people not only in the Philippines but in the whole world that I’m the best in my weight class,” said Magsayo in a recent online press conference.

“I expect that it would be a great fight. I expect he (Russell) would perform his talent in the ring and I will perform [to the best] of my ability in the fight. Let’s see what he can do in the ring,” added the MP Promotions star, who has been on training camp for three and a half months under legendary coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California.

Magsayo, a winner of Premier Boxing Champion’s Knockout of the Year and WBC’s Prospect of the Year, had two impressive knockout wins in 2021 against American Pablo Cruz in April and Mexican Julio Ceja in August.

It was against Ceja where the unbeaten Filipino boxer earned the KO of the Year honor after stunning the Mexican contender out cold down the floor in the tenth round of their WBC title eliminator bout.

Magsayo, in the process, was also hailed as the WBO International featherweight champion and improved to 23 wins with 16 knockouts.

With Russell coming back from a two-year hiatus, the 26-year-old Magsayo knows no room for complacency against a WBC featherweight champion who has defended the belt for the fifth straight time.

Russell, 33, for his part, said there is nothing concerning about Magsayo but lauded the Tagbilaran, Bohol native boxer for showing grit to face him.

“I expect for him to bring his physical best. I take my head off to him because he’s willing to put it all on the line. He’s willing to compete against the best and he wants to be the best. That’s the true heart of a fighter and a true champion,” said Russell, who holds a 31-1 record on top of 18 KOs.

“I wish some other fighters in the sport had the same but I don’t see in the sport as much,” he added.

The American champion last saw action against Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia and took home a unanimous decision win in February 2020.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/01/17/magsayo-all-set-vs-russell/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=magsayo-all-set-vs-russell)