Analyst: Russell should take the blame for Magsayo 'critique'

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2022 09:17 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2022 09:40 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Mark Magsayo picked up a majority decision win over Gary Russell Jr. to crown himself as the new WBC featherweight king over the weekend.

But it didn't happen without controversy. 

Russell Jr. claimed he fought one-handed during the fight due to an injured right shoulder while the Filipino puncher received flak from some for failing to stop the erstwhile champion. 

Fight analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino said the blame should be pinned on Russell.

"Ang criticism dapat kay Russell. Bakit ka lumaban na mayroon palang tama ang iyong balikat. You deprived boxing fans of a legitimate contest. Parang he just took the money and ran," said the analyst.

Tolentino also pointed out that Russell's case was different from that of Manny Pacquiao who also carried a similar injury when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in 2015.

Unlike Russell, Pacquiao kept his injury secret until after his decision loss to Mayweather. Russell made public his injury before the Magsayo bout.

Tolentino said the New Jersey Boxing Commission should also take the blame for allowing the fight to push through despite Russell's revelation.

"Bakit pinayagan ng New Jersey Boxing Commission ang labang ito? Remember before the fight diniclose ni Russell na may injury siya. Dapat kinalikot na ito ng commission, dahil masisira ang intergity ng laban dahil sa injury," he said.

"Russell was obligated to show up in good shape. He had enough time to train. He cheated fans."

Tolentino said he won't be surprised if there will be a rematch in the future.

"I think Magsayo would like to face him again to settle the score. Kasi unfair krini-criticize si Magsayo 'hindi mo na knockout one-armed fighter,'" he said. 

Tolentino, however, prefers Magsayo fighting another boxer like Mexico's Leo Sta. Cruz, who fits him better stylistically.

"Para sa akin, perfect si Sta. Cruz kasi unang una, may pangalan... Alam mo naman ang Filipino-Mexican rivalry hitik na hitik sa aksyon at history. At wala namang direct obligation si Magsayo to grant Russell a rematch," he said.