Mark Magsayo Promises To Knockout Rey Vargas If He Does Not Run

Although he hopes that he is wrong, unbeaten WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo believes that he will have to chase after Rey Vargas during their 12-round title fight on Saturday. The fight is the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader at Alamodome in San Antonio.

The taller and rangier Vargas regularly boxes off his back foot, which will present a challenge for the heavy-handed Magsayo. When looking at Vargas’ fighting history, it seems likely that he may not engage with Magsayo.

“He always goes backward all fight,” Magsayo told “I hope this coming fight he’s not gonna run too much. There’s gonna be a knockout if he’s not gonna run too much.”

This fight is Magsayo’s first defense of the 126-pound championship he won from Gary Russell Jr. five months ago. The Philippines native feels that his victory over Russell has helped him prepare for how to handle Vargas. Although, unlike Russell, Vargas is a right-handed boxer.

Russell fought very defensively in his fight against Magsayo, especially after he aggravated a pre-existing injury to his right shoulder early in the fourth round. By the end, Russell was practically fighting with one arm.

Magsayo won in the end, upsetting an opponent who entered the ring as boxing’s longest-reigning champion. The fight was a 12-round bout, which took place on January 22 at Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“To win this fight, I’ll have to use my footwork,” Magsayo said. “It’s hard to catch him. The guy is tall and he’s gonna run, so I need to make adjustments, just like the Gary Russell fight. He was too small and he was gonna run, so it’s hard to hit them when they run.”

Vargas’ (35-0, 22 KOs) last fight was his featherweight debut, where he fought fellow Mexican Leonardo Baez (21-5, 12 KOs) on November 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The match ended in a 10-round unanimous decision victory for Vargas.

“I saw his training, his sparring,” Magsayo said. “He’s always [going] backward, backward, staying away from his opponent. In the gym, we’ve trained for different styles – slugger, a brawler fighter and a [boxer]. Whatever his style is in this fight, we’re ready.”

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