Mark Magsayo continues to stick to his promise.
The 26-year-old reaffirmed that he will beat Gary Russell Jr. for the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight championship on Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“I think I’m the fighter who wants to beat him more than anyone else has,” the undefeated Filipino fighter confidently said in the final press conference ahead of the fight.
“I’m here to give him his second loss on Saturday night.”
Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) is clearly excited for the bout. And one cannot put the 26-year-old at fault, since it will be his first-ever crack at a world title.
The Tagbilaran-born pugilist earned that shot following a tenth-round knockout against Julio Ceja in an undercard of the Yordenis Ugas-Manny Pacquiao bout back in August of last year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs), though, had previously offered that Magsayo’s win over the Mexican actually exposed ‘some holes in his armor.’ But the latter begs to differ, saying that it only helped him become a better fighter.
“I learned a lot from the Julio Ceja fight,” said Magsayo, who actually got put to the mat in the fifth round before coming back for that devastating finisher that was named Knockout of the Year by Premier Boxing Champions.
“I showed that I can adjust, that I can brawl and that I can box when I have to. That fight has helped me so much,” he furthered.
As confident as he is, however, Magsayo reiterated his utmost respect for Russell Jr., who’s been holding the title since 2015.
In fact, he isn’t buying any of that possible ring rust on the part of the 33-year-old, who last fought in February 2020 that saw him retain the crown by way of a unanimous decision win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia.
“Gary is a really good fighter. I’ve wanted to fight him for a long time. Now the opportunity is here and I can’t wait for the fight. I’m not expecting any ring rust from Gary Russell.”