Boxing: Gary Russell Jr. is confident he can handle Mark Magsayo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2022 08:06 PM

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WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. said he has no reason to be overly concerned about his unbeaten challenger Mark Magsayo even after watching the Filipino's knockout victory over Mexican banger Julio Ceja.

Magsayo knocked Ceja out cold in Round 10, but not before trailing the Mexican in the scorecards.

"(I have) no concerns at all," said Russell, who remained champion since winning the crown in 2015, in their virtual press conference.

"He had to come back, been behind in the score cards. He had to knockout that guy because he's losing in the scorecards," said Russell, adding that he can handle Magsayo.

It was that match that won Magsayo his chance to battle Russell for the crown. The two will square off in Atlantic City this January 22 with Russell's title on the line.

The American also said good things about Magsayo, who remained undefeated in 23 professional fights.

"The reason I'm fighting Magsayo because he made his way up the rankings to challenge the champion... He is the next best guy to the champion," said Russell.

He added that he was having a hard time looking for opponent, claiming that his skill set has always been a problem for his opposition.

This is why he is glad Magsayo is willing to step up to the plate.

"He's willing to compete against the best and he wants to be be the best. He has the heart of a true fighter and true champion," said Russell.

Russell owns a 31-1 record with his only career loss coming against the legendary Vasiliy Lomachenko.

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