WBC featherweight world champion Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo is not expecting a toe to toe fight when he makes a mandatory defense against former world champion Rey Vargas this Saturday, July 9 headlining live on Showtime from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Once again, Hall of Fame trainers Freddie Roach and Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain will be on opposite sides in a Philippines vs. Mexico battle.
Roach and Nacho matched wits in four tough fights between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Maquez.
Now Roach trains one of Pacquiao's proteges in Magsayo, while Nacho has groomed the skills of Vargas.
Magsayo makes the first defense of the belt he captured back in January, when he overcame longtime champion Gary Russell Jr.
“It was an amazing feeling to bring honor to my country by winning the world title earlier this year. But at the end of the day, I’m still the same humble guy that I’ve always been. It was very emotional returning home and seeing how proud everyone was of me," Magsayo said.
“I’m facing a fighter who’s usually going backwards. He’s tall, so that’s always his plan. I’m hoping he doesn’t run too much in this fight. If I’m able to get to the right distance with him, I’m going to get the knockout.
“I’m prepared for anything he brings. I’ve gotten great sparring with guys who move, guys who go toe-to-toe and everything in between. It doesn’t matter how he fights, I’ll be ready for it.
“My footwork is definitely very important in this fight. Just like against Gary Russell Jr., I’m going to have to make adjustments. I’m not expecting him to mix it up with me.
“I’ve already faced the best fighter in the division, and that was Gary Russell Jr. I beat him clearly and I believe that sent a message to the rest of the division. Even before he hurt his shoulder or whatever happened, I was winning the rounds.