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Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas – preview & prediction

Image: Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas - preview & prediction

By Huck Allen: Highly energized Mark Magsayo will be defending his WBC featherweight title against former WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas this Saturday night July 9th on Showtime from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

This is the first and could be the last defense for the 27-year-old Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) of his recently won WBC 126-lb title against the tall, technically superior Vargas (35-0, 22 KOs) in the main event.

Magsayo is a wild fighter, who leaves himself open to getting nailed with his attacks. That’s the type of fighter that Vargas has always done extremely well against.

If Magsayo chooses to fight that way on Saturday night, Vargas will give him a boxing lesson that he won’t soon forget.

Vargas, 5’10 1/2″, is the much taller fighter, better skilled, and more experienced than Magsayo. Although Vargas doesn’t punch with the same power as Magsayo and isn’t as quick as him, he’s the superior fighter technically and is more experienced.

Prediction:

Vargas will outbox Magsayo and win a comfortable 12-round unanimous decision. The victory will be made easier by the way Magsayo leaves himself open.

The only two names on Magsayo’s resume are Gary Russell Jr. and Julio Ceja. Other than that, Magsayo has been plugging away in obscurity in his native Philippines, winning fights against primarily unknown fighters until recently.

While some casual boxing fans compare Magsayo to Manny Pacquiao, that would be a crude comparison. Magsayo is nothing like Pacquiao, not even the older version that we saw lose to Yordenis Ugas.

A better comparison is Magsayo to Mercito Gesta. He’s a fighter that some boxing fans saw as the second coming of Pacquiao many years ago, and he failed to produce the goods, unfortunately.

Magsayo barely edged former WBC champion Gary Russell Jr, beating him by a narrow 12-round majority decision earlier this year on June 22nd.

The victory for Magsayo ended the seven-year reign for Russell as the WBC 126-lb champion, and it wasn’t all that surprising that he was finally beaten.

Russell, 34, hadn’t defended his WBC featherweight title in two years, and before that, he’d only been fighting once a year since 2015, doing the bare minimum as the champion.

Given Russell’s increasing age and inactivity, it wasn’t a shock that Magsayo beat him.

Still, it took an injury for Russell for Magsayo to win that fight, as he was getting outboxed by the old champion, with him fighting with just one good arm. You could tell that a healthy Russell or more importantly an active version of the champion would heave beaten Magsayo with ease.

Complete weights:

Mark Magsayo 125.5 vs. Rey Vargas 125.5
Brandon Figueroa 126 vs. Carlos Castro 124.5
Frank Martin 137.5 vs. Jackson Marinez 138
Ramon Cardenas 118.25 vs. Michell Banquez 117.5
Rashidi Ellis 153.5 vs. Jose Marrufo 146.25

Magsayo staying humble

“For me, I don’t think about that, like the next superstar,” Magsayo said to DAZN. “No one can match Manny Pacquiao there in this era. I just train hard, focus on every fight, win every fight, and give honor to the Philippines. Just maintain my status like this, and stay humble. I am a humble guy. No one can compare to Manny Pacquiao.

“Rey Vargas, he’s been waiting a long time in that slot because he’s been waiting for almost two years,” Magsayo said. “He is a mandatory challenger of me, so I need to face him. I need to face a good fighter,” said Magsayo.

Errol Spence talks Frank Martin

“Basically, he started training with Derrick [James] in the gym, and I was watching him spar and outclassing everybody and beating everybody up,’ said Errol Spence Jr. to Fight Hub TV when asked how he found out about Frank Martin.

“He needed some fights. I was getting other people’s fights, and I saw the skillset and talent of this dude. I finally got him some fights. Basically, he’s got the skills, got the talent and he got the ability.

“HIe just needed somebody so he could showcase his skills. Put him on TV so he can showcase his skills, and that’s what I did. He’s going to put on an amazing performance,” said Spence about Frank Martin’s 10-round fight against the tough Jackson Marinez on Saturday night.

“I’ve watched Frank spar taller fighters than him, and I feel he’s got the skills and the ability and talent to showcase everything. He can counter punch, he can block, he can slip, he’s faster than him, and I feel he’s stronger than him.

“He’s got amazing athletic ability, and I basically see him breaking him down throughout the fight and end up stopping him,” said Spence about Frank.

“I’m not trying to promote everybody, just a select number of fighters, and right now he’s ready for the top competition,” said Spence about Martin.

“He’s definitely ready for those guys like Rolly [Romero]. He just came off a loss [to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis]. He’s ready to showcase his skills versus Rolly, and he’s ready to showcase his skills against Pitbull [Cruz].

“There are a lot of guys he can showcase his skills against. That’s why I want to put him in with those top names. After he beats those guys and showcases his skills against those guys. Once they measure up, it’s like how did Tank do against Pitbull and how did Frank do against Pitbull?

“How did he do against Rolly and how did Tank do against Rolly? When people compare that, they’ll see that he’s got the same skills and the talent that these guys got. He’s ready to be at the top level,” said Spence.

“Bring them up,” said Frank when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Rolly Romero and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz in the future.

“It makes me comfortable. It’s a blessing,” said Martin about his thoughts on Spence believing in him. “He’s in the gym, watching me spar and giving me pointers too.

“I’m trying to get some of the top guys in the top five. Nobody specific, everybody in the top five. Anybody in the top five, I’m ready for,” said Martin.

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