Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magsyo: Battle predictions, cards, odds, start time, how to watch, Showtime Boxing

Gary Russell Jr. will return to the ring and defend his WBC featherweight title when he faces Mark Magsayo in the Showtime Boxing Championship main event on Saturday night. It was Russell’s first game in nearly two years.

Inactivity has become a hallmark of Russell’s career. He hasn’t fought more than once a year since 2014 and was completely out of the ring in 2021 when Rey Vargas suffered a broken leg, forcing him out of a planned March fight with Russell. contest.

To hear Russell say that his easy schedule is the fear of the opponent’s fault, not the lack of desire to play.

“The reason I compete once a year is because we don’t have a dance partner,” Russell told ESPN“I’m forced to fight the next best guy instead of a champion. I definitely want to be more active. I know I’m not content with playing once a year. … Don’t worry about rusting the ring. I’m always is in the gym. I haven’t had a two-month break from training since I was about 4 or 5 years old. “

That inactivity has also locked Russell as boxing’s longest-reigning active champion since March 2015.

While he insisted that ring rust wasn’t an issue, Russell ran into one on Friday as he weighed heavily on his first attempt and spent nearly all of his allotted time getting down to under 126 pounds, eventually reaching 125.5, narrowly avoiding losing his “longest reigning” status on the scale.

Attention now turns to Saturday and the match against Magsayo, who was forced by the WBC before being transferred to Vargas. Magsyo, a rugged Filipino, proved his mettle in the latest bout, winning a back-and-forth war with Julio Ceja in which both suffered knockouts before Magsyo ended with a brutal knockout the show.

Magsyo isn’t an easy out, but he hasn’t quite reached the level of a fighting fan, and the media asked Russell to confront him in those rare moments when he chose to step into the ring. This is especially true for a competitive lightweight division that includes a lot of good names and action fighters.

Still, when Russell was in the ring, he looked like an elite fighter, with his skill set allowing him to easily take on the mandatory title challengers of the year, most notably a victory over Joseph in 2018 Diaz.

Russell claimed he wanted to be more active in the future and called for a fight against Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko, who defeated Russell by majority decision in the WBO title fight in June 2014.

But first, Russell needs to deal with Magsayo. Then, see if the 33-year-old pursues those bigger fish and a more aggressive schedule.

Russell vs Magsayo cards, odds

Gary Russell Jr. (c) – 380

Mark Magsayo +300

WBC Featherweight Champion

Subril Mathias – 450

Petros Anayan +350

super lightweight

Tugstsogt Nyambayar -450

Sakarya Lucas +350



The odds here are a bit closer than you might expect for a fight like this, probably because Russell has been out of the ring since February 2020. Combining skill with finesse, Russell is undoubtedly the better fighter. Magsyo was in serious trouble against Ceja after two games before that ended in a split decision against Rigoberto Hermosillo. Ceja and Hermosillo aren’t quite at Russell’s level, which doesn’t bode well for Magsyo. Chances are this will be a fight where Russell can simply beat Magsayo in the game and overtake another of his championship defenses of the year. Pick: Gary Russell Jr. via UD

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