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Magsayo still wary of idle defending champ Russell Jr.

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Magsayo still wary of idle defending champ Russell Jr.
Mark Magsayo makes his ring entrance for a featherweight bout against Julio Ceja at T-Mobile Arena on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
STEVE MARCUS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Undefeated Filipino pug Mark Magsayo is not letting his guard down even for a moment against WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. ahead of their clash on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Despite the reigning champ not having been inside the ring since February 2020, Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) said he expects the American to be in top form.

"He's a really good fighter, I've been wanting him to fight with me since I was a kid... No ring rust for him. He's good," Magsayo said in the pre-fight press conference on Thursday (early Friday morning, Manila time).

Magsayo earned the right to face Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) for his belt as the mandatory challenger for the belt after a stellar knockout against Julio Ceja last year.

But dethroning the champion will be no easy task as the Filipino is already the sixth challenger for his belt since Russell began his reign in 2015.

Magsayo expressed confidence in himself, though, owing to his momentum and advantage in terms of age and reach.

"Maybe I'm the one who wants to beat him," Magsayo said.

"Maybe this Saturday, it's going to be his second loss," he added.

BOXING

MARK MAGSAYO

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