The last Filipino world boxing champion has fallen.
Mark Magsayo yielded the World Boxing Council World Featherweight championship to Rey Vargas, dropping a split decision (112-115, 112-115, 114-113), Sunday (Manila time) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
It was not the storybook ending that Magsayo had hoped for as he was unable to defend his title while also taking the first loss of his career in the process.
The first two rounds were an all-out brawl with both fighters exchanging power shots early in the bout.
In the third canto, Vargas started to make use of his height and reach advantage as he was able to control the succeeding rounds. Still, the Filipino was able to squeeze-in a few power shots.
“I applied what we trained in the gym, but he’s taller,” said Magsayo.
In the middle rounds, the undefeated Mexican was starting to widen the gap. Magsayo looked gassed-out already with little to no head movement seen from him.
But it was the 9th frame when the Mexican committed a big mistake as he was playing fire with Magnifico.
Vargas was caught by a straight right to the jaw in the 40-second mark causing him his fourth knockdown in his career.
“It wasn’t that effective, but it counts, he did get me there. He got me with that one,” said Vargas.
Magsayo started to take advantage of the wobbly Vargas in round 10 to try to get back from the deficit, but unfortunately for him, it was too late for the former champion as he wasn’t able to close the distance in the latter rounds.
In the post-match interview, the Mexican revealed that he is aware that he was the one who was in command majority of the fight.
“I’ve been in control the whole fight, although in the ninth because he got me there that’s why I lost a little control,” Vargas told Jimmy Lennon Jr.
“I have no words to describe what happened here tonight. It’s my second title,” said the now 36-0 Mexican.
“This one is going back to Mexico.”