Filipino puncher Mark Magsayo is getting geared up for the biggest opportunity of his career.
On Saturday, January 22, Magsayo will challenge WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr.
The Showtime televised fight will take place at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.
Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) has held the WBC featherweight Title since 2015, but the 33-year-old boxer has not been very active in the last few years. Since 2014, Russell has only averaged around one fight per year. His last ring appearance took place in February 2020, when he picked up a twelve round unanimous decision over Tugstsogt Nyambayar.
Ring rust and age could be a factor, with the 26-year-old Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) of Pasig City, Metro Manila, hoping to secure a career-defining victory.
In of the more brutal knockouts of 2021, Magsayo was behind on the cards when he knocked out former world champion Julio Ceja in the tenth round.
Trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, and promoted by eight division champion Manny Pacquiao, Magsayo is motivated to return home as a world champion.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to fight on Showtime for the WBC world title,” said Magsayo.
“This is the fight that I want and have been working hard to get for years. I am going to come to win and to make the most of this chance. There is a reason Gary is a champion, just like there is a reason I became the mandatory challenger. This is going to be a great fight for me to show the world what Filipinos are made of. I’ve had a long road to get to this position and I will be fighting in honor of everyone who helped me get here.”