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Freeman Cebu Sports

‘Stronger’ Magsayo vows to dethrone Russell

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Rising featherweight star Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo is grateful that the opportunity to fight for a world title he had long been waiting for finally came his way.

And the Boholano boxing sensation wants to make the most of the golden chance.

Magsayo (23-0, 16KOs) vows to do whatever it takes to dislodge WBC featherweight champion Gary “Mr.” Russell, Jr. (31-1, 18KOs) from his throne when they collide in a 12-round championship bout on January 22 (Sunday, January 23 Phl time) at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“I’m very thankful to my whole team for making this fight happen. I’ve been training for three and a half months now, so I’m going to be well prepared for this fight,” said Magsayo, who earned a mandatory shot at Russell’s belt with his spectacular 10th round knockout of Mexico’s Julio Ceja in August last year.

“I’ve had great sparring partners to prepare me for Russell and give me the same looks that he’ll give me on fight night. This is my first world title fight and I’m going to give it my all,” he added.

“I’m going to show the world that I’m the best at this weight. This is the fight that I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve been waiting patiently for my chance and I’m ready to do my best.”

Magsayo holds Russell in high regard being the defending titleholder but the pride of Tagbilaran City yearns to prove he’s a cut above the rest in the 126-pound division.

“I don’t think Gary has faced anyone since he became champion that has the skills that I have. I’m going to go in there to show him something he’s never seen before and we’ll see how he reacts,” said Magsayo. “I respect Gary Russell Jr., he’s a great champion, but I’m winning this fight on January 22. I want to prove to the people everywhere that I’m the best featherweight in the world.”

“I’m going to be the stronger fighter against Russell. We trained every day with Freddie Roach and we’ve worked on a lot of different techniques we’ll use in this fight,” Magsayo continued. “I know he’s going to bring his talent into the ring, but I’m going to show everybody that I can deliver a great fight and become champion.”

MARK MAGSAYO

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