Magsayo's best chance vs Russell is in the early rounds, says analyst

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2022 12:39 AM


Mark Magsayo is coming in as the underdog against American champion Gary Russell Jr. when they clash for the WBC featherweight title on Saturday in Atlantic City (Sunday, Manila time). 

So what will it take for Magsayo to upset the long-reigning featherweight king? A lot of firepower especially in the early rounds, according to fight analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino.

"Magsayo has to bring in the pressure. Don't let Russell use the entire ring and try to pin him the ropes wherein limited ang kanyang range, limited ang kanyang hand speed. Mabubugbog niya ng todo," said Tolentino.

"It will take a lot of gamble but he has to bring in the fire firepower, keep on throwing and take risks. Kahit dehado si Magsayo, he has the firepower that can instantly change the outcome of this fight."

The analyst said Russell is a technical fighter with fast hands and quick feet which could give Magsayo a headache come fight night.

"In all of his career ito ang pinakamabigat na makakalaban niya," said Tolentino.

But Russell will also have to battle ring rust as he hasn't fought since February 2020. 

Magsayo, on the other hand, had a busy 2021 with two impressive fights that year, including a 10th round knockout victory over Julio Ceja which mandated him to challenge Russel.

"Best chance ni Magsayo sa early rounds, sa 6 to 7. Konting golpe de gulat siguro in the early rounds sapagkat rusty itong si Russell coming in," said Tolentino.

"As this fight drags on, the more it will favor Gary Russell Jr. Mas sanay sa distansya si Gary Russell Jr."