Mark Magsayo Upset Gary Russell To Win WBC Featherweight Title
In a stirring performance aided by an in ring injury to the champ, Filipino Mark Magsayo upset WBC Featherweight Champ Gary Russell in a 12 round majority decision in the Showtime Boxing main event in Atlantic City Saturday night.
The final judges tallies were 115-113 on two cards with the third scoring a draw at 114-114, but it was good enough to give Magsayo the title win.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 23, 2022
Russell, now 31-2, was fighting for the first time in almost two years, while making the sixth defense of his 126 lb. title. He showed ring rust and eventually, suffered an obvious injury early on in the bout.
Russell clearly had his right shoulder hurt from a punch from Magsayo in the fourth round. This, as the Filipino fired a straight right while Russell was moving to his left and it caught him flush on the collarbone area.
Russell could be heard on the Showtime mics in between rounds telling his corner that his shoulder was injured, and for the next few rounds he threw almost no punches with his right.
The southpaw Russell was unable to throw his jab with any zip and the Showtime Boxing “Sho Stats” revealed that he didn’t land a jab after the fifth round for the rest of the fight.
Meanwhile Magsayo, who improved to 24-0, out-landed Russell 140-58 in power punches for the bout. He was effective scoring to the body and straight rights to the head in the second half of the bout.
After the bout, the new champ was obviously elated,
“This is my dream. My dream has come true. I’m so proud I’m a champion now. I felt the support of the Filipino fans.
I hurt him in the third round. It was a good shot….. This was my opportunity. Go straight in. Use the straight right hand. Follow through. Follow through.
I knew he couldn’t use the right hand.”
As for Russell, who lost for only the second time as a pro, he admitted post fight that he came into the bout injured,
“I believe I have a torn tendon in my right shoulder….but this is what true champions do. I couldn’t use my right arm, but I was still able to hit him and control the fight.
I knew it about two weeks ago…I refused to not fight….I refused to push it back. I feel I still won the fight.”
Magsayo, who was inspired as kid by Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, followed in his footsteps and now has a world title.
Earlier in the night in the Jr. Welterweight co-feature bout, Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias avenged his only pro loss with a 9th round TKO win over Petros Ananyan. Matias out-slugged his Armenian opponent throughout the toe to toe action. He eventually floored a weary Ananyan with a hard left hook in the final seconds of the ninth.
Ananyan beat the count but was obviously badly hurt and the ringside doctor stopped the bout. He had upset Matias by 10 round decision in February 2020.
With the win, Matias, who’s ranked #2 by the IBF at 140 lb., is now 18-1 with 18 KOs.