WBC Orders Gary Russell Vs. Mark Magsayo, Nonito Donaire Vs. Reymart Gaballo, ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Vs. Ryan Garcia
As boxing continues their clean-up efforts of championship belts, the World Boxing Council ordered four sets of mandatory fights.
Featherweight king Gary Russell must face Mark Magsayo; bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire must defend his belt against Reymart Gaballo; Eduardo Ramirez must take on Lerato Dlamini in a final elimination and Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz is ordered to defend his interim lightweight title against No. 2 ranked Ryan Garcia.
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Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) has not fought since August 2020 where he made his fifth successful title defense against Tugstsogt Nyambayar with a unanimous decision.
Magasayo (23-0, 16 KOs) is coming off a gruesome knockout victory over Julio Ceja on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao versus Yordenis Ugas fight. He previously revealed his plan was to fight Russell next for a shot at the featherweight belt.
Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) has been mentioned in a number of potential fights including a proposed rematch with WBA and IBF bantamweight king Naoya Inoue and call outs by WBO champion John Riel Casimero.
But it appears that the WBC wants Donaire to take on mandatory challenger Gaballo (24-0, 20 KOs). The 25-year-old Filipino boxer would be a big step. So far, his biggest win of his career was in 2018 when he bested undefeated Stephon Young for the interim WBA bantamweight title.
Diaz and Garcia reacted to the news by saying “it’s no secret” they’re planning to fight.
Cause we don’t know if you’re going to pull out or not https://t.co/0ygNybqE29
— Joseph Diaz (@JosephDiazJr) September 20, 2021
Diaz (32-1, 15 KOs) last scored a unanimous decision victory over Javier Fortune in July for the interim belt. Meanwhile, Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) last competed in January in a stoppage of Luke Campbell. The social media sensation took some time off from the sport due to mental health issues, but he said he’s in a better mindset now.