Magsayo vs. Vargas – LIVE results
By Mark Eisner: As expected, former WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (36-0, 22 KOs) utilized his superior boxing skills to defeat previously unbeaten WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KOs) by a 12-round split decision on Saturday night on Showtime at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Vargas was knocked down in the ninth round by Magsayo, but not hurt. After the knockdown, Vargas came back strong to outbox Magsayo in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth rounds to get the victory.
The scores were 115-112, 115-112 for Vargas, and 114-113 for Magsayo. Boxing News 24 scored it 115-112 for Vargas.
- In a nice bounceback performance, former WBA super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) stopped Carlos Castro (27-2, 12 KOs) in a sixth-round knockout in a WBC 126-lb eliminator. Figueroa knocked down Castro in the third. In round six, the 25-year-old Figueroa hurt Castro with an uppercut, and then teed off on him when he backed up against the ropes. The referee Mark Nelson then jumped in quickly and halted the contest at 2:11 of the round. You can argue that it was stopped a little too soon by referee Nelson, but he didn’t want to take chances because Castro was getting pummeled by Figueroa at that point. In Figueroa’s previous fight, he lost his WBA 122-lb title to Stephen Fulton by a 12-round majority decision last November in Las Vegas.
- Frank Martin (16-0, 12 KOs) looked sensational tonight, knocking out Jackson Marinez (19-3, 7 KOs) in the tenth round after dropping him twice in the contest in lightweight action. ‘The Ghost’ Martin knocked down the 31-year-old Marinez in the ninth and tenth rounds. The bout was stopped at 0:30 of the tenth. The 27-year-old lightweight contender Martin is being pushed quickly by his handlers, who believe he’s got the potential to capture a world title soon.
- Unbeaten welterweight Rashidi Ellis (24-0, 14 KOs) destroyed the over-matched veteran Jose Marrufo (13-11-2, 1 KO) by a first-round knockout in a scheduled eight-round bout. The 29-year-old Ellis dropped Marrufo two times in the round before the fight was halted. Ellis has been in the pro ranks for nine years since 2013, and he still hasn’t faced a top contender in all this time. At some point, Ellis’ management needs to take the training wheels off before he ages out.
- Bantamweight Ramon Cardenas (21-1, 10 KOs) defeated Michell Banquez (20-2, 14 KOs) by a competitive 10-round unanimous decision. The judges’ scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94.
Mark Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs), who some boxing fans compare to a young Manny Pacquiao, recently captured the WBC 126-lb title, beating champion Gary Russell Jr. by a 12-round majority decision last January.
In the undercard, former WBA/WBC super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa battles Carlos Castro in a WBC featherweight eliminator.
This is the 25-year-old Figueroa’s first fight since losing his WBA & WBC 122-lb titles to Stephen Fulton Jr. last November.
Also on the card, undefeated light welterweight contender Frank Martin (15-0, 11 KOs) battles Jackson Marinez (19-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round catchweight fight at 138 lbs.
“The comparisons, you know, some people say, ‘Alright, every Filipino, now we’re going to talk about Pacquiao.’ That’s kind of what Pacquiao’s career did,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ProBox TV, talking about Mark Magsayo being compared to former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
“Now every Filipino fighter that comes along, we talk about Manny Pacquiao because that’s the guy. We know there were Filipino fighters before Pacquiao like Elorde and all of that, but this guy laid the building blocks for the next generation. Every modern Filipino fighter looks up to Manny Pacquiao.
“This one more so than anybody else that we talk about it because the opponent, Rey Vargas, trains with Nacho Beristain. He’s also a world-class fighter, and an ex-world champion at the junior featherweight limit.
“I don’t know how he was making junior featherweight at the time he was making it at 5’10” height. He’s coming in with a lot of credentials himself, so you have the built-in rivalry, Mexico-Philippines, started by the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry, which everybody talks about.
“Because of that rivalry, you ended up having the Freddie Roach vs. Nacho Beristain rivalry as a trainer as well because a lot of Filipino fighters gravitate to Freddie Roach in the United States now.
“Of course, in Mexico, Nacho Beristain is royalty out of all the Mexican trainers that are internationally renowned and known. So you have a solid storyline here between two guys that can fight and have proven that they can fight.
“Magsayo knocked off Gary Russell. Gary Russell had been a champion for a long time. I don’t think he’d lost since the Lomachenko fight, which is ages ago and he’d been very impressive.
“My disappointment with Gary Russell is that I don’t think he got the most out of his prime. I’d like to see him fight more often than a once-a-year appearance,” said Malignaggi.
Rey Vargas: “I’m better” than Mark Magsayo
“I feel happy, full of energy, it’s a big jump, a big point. Where too many positive things can emerge and resurface,” Rey Vargas said to DAZN.
“We’re both level fighters, we’re both at the top, but I still feel like a world champion. I know what it means to be there, the honey, what it means to be there, but that doesn’t intimidate me what Magsayo says or does, because I know what it’s like to be there and again I want to be there.
“Even if Magsayo is there and he’s good and undefeated, if he’s good I’m better.”
Undefeated newly crowned WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo defends his title tonight against the technically brilliant former WBC 122-lb champion Rey Vargas in the headliner on Showtime at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The televised portion of the card begins at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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