Gary Russell with ‘slight injury’ heading into Mark Magsayo fight
MANILA, Philippines—WBC World featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. admitted that he won’t be in top shape when he steps inside the ring for his title defense against Filipino challenger Mark Magsayo.
Russell, who’s held the title since March 2015, will defend his championship for the sixth time at Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City on Sunday (Manila time).
“I never go into any of my fights 100 percent, to be honest with you. I do have a little slight injury but I prefer not to elaborate on it until after the fight,” said Russell (31-1) in an interview with DAZN.
“We’re going to get through this fight, we’re still going to make things shake and then we’ll go ahead and put it out there after it’s all said and done.”
Russell has also been training without longtime coach and father Gary Russell Sr. after he had his leg amputated due to complications from diabetes in December.
While Russell Sr. has been checking on his son’s progress via Zoom, his absence at camp is surely felt especially going into a fight against the undefeated Magsayo (23-0).
Russell, though, is confident he has the tools to bring down Magsayo.
Russell, whose only loss is against Vasyl Lomachenko, is aware of Magsayo’s power but pointed out that boxing isn’t always about raw strength.
“I think he’s a heavy-handed puncher,” said Russell of Magsayo. “I think he’s going to make it as rough as possible and hope something lands.”
“Intellect over athleticism.”