Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Magsayo ends Russell’s 7-year featherweight world title reign


Filipino Mark Magsayo ended the longest championship reign in male professional boxing, beating Gary Russell on points to take the WBC featherweight crown.
Magsayo, 26, who is promoted by his compatriot Manny Pacquiao, won on two of the three judges’ scorecards.
American Russell had held the title since March 2015, but this was only his sixth defence. “This is my dream since I was a kid,” said Magsayo after the surprise win in Atlantic City.
“Thank you for the support from Filipino fans. Now I became a world champion.” Magsayo, who remains undefeated, had earned his title shot by knocking out Julio Ceja of Mexico in August and Saturday’s success was his 24th victory, which has also featured 16 knockouts.
Two judges gave him a 115-113 score with the other scoring it 114-114. Russell has not fought more than once in a calendar year since 2014 with his last bout coming against Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar in February 2020.
But the 33-year-old was hampered by an injured shoulder which he sustained in training, allowing his opponent to take advantage.
“I hit him with some good shots in the third round and that is why he got hurt,” added Magsayo.

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