Mark Magsayo is back to business as he prepares for a training camp next month at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California in preparation for his first world title defense against former world champion Rey Vargas.

WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo (Showtime Boxing)

After spending a vacation here in the Philippines, receiving a warm welcome in hometown Tagbilaran, Bohol, visiting his idol Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Magsayo is excited to go back to boxing duties since dethroning Gary Russell Jr. last Jan. to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight title.

“Magaling din si Vargas. Napanood ko na ‘yong laban, ‘yong style. Magandang matchup para sa akin kasi mach-challenge na naman ako (Vargas is also a great boxer. I watched his fight and knew his style. This is a good matchup and it’s going to be another challenge for me),” said the 26-year-old Magsayo, who remained undefeated with 24 wins on top of 16 knockouts.

“Kasi iba na namang style. Interesting na matchup ‘to kasi undefeated, walang tao, tsaka matangad (I’d be facing a boxer with a different style again. Interesting matchup because he’s undefeated and tall),” added Magsayo, accompanied by MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons at the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum Tuesday, March 22.

READ: Title defense first, Santa Cruz next, says Magsayo

Against Vargas, Magsayo will be facing an unbeaten Mexican standout who emerged victorious in 35 matches with 22 KOs.

The 31-year-old Vargas last saw action in November 2021 with a unanimous decision win over compatriot Leonardo Baez.

Prior to that, the Mexican star had defended the WBC super bantamweight belt five straight times since winning the vacant throne last February 2017 against Gavin McDonnell of the United Kingdom.

Vargas defeated the likes of Ronny Rios, Oscar Negrete, Azat Negrete, Franklin Manzanilla, and Tomoki Kameda en route to the super bantamweight supremacy.

Gibbons, for his part, sees the opportunity as another “coming out party” for the elite boxer from Tagbilaran, Bohol.

Gibbons also bared that the bout against Vargas was already “predetermined” as the Mexican boxer was then a mandatory challenger for Russell but got hurt.

“We got the opportunity to fight Gary knowing that if we won, Rey Vargas was our first defense. So it was already predetermined before Mark fought that [next] would be Rey Vargas which were fine with,” added Pacquiao’s right-hand man.

“When you’re the champ, whoever they offer you, whoever they put in front of you, that’s who you need to fight when it’s mandatory,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (