New champ Mark Magsayo ‘willing to fight anybody’

Mark Magsayo

Mark Magsayo reacts after fighting Gary Russell Jr. for the WBC World Featherweight Championship at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on January 23, 2022 in Atlantic City, United States. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Mitchell Leff / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Mark Magsayo said he is ready to face whoever gets in his way as he now tries to build on a growing legacy after becoming the WBC featherweight champion Sunday (Manila time).

The 26-year-old scored a majority upset win over long-reigning titleholder Gary Russell Jr. for the strap at Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey making him the fifth active Filipino fighter to hold a major championship.

“My dream came true. This is my dream since I was a child. I’m so proud I’m a champion now. Thank you to all Filipino fans,” said Magsayo in the post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray.

“I’m willing to fight anybody now. I’m the champion.”

Magsayo played the aggressor role for much of the fight and managed to put a beating on Russell, who held the WBC strap for six years and 10 months, in the third.

Russell, who fought through a torn tendon in his right shoulder, never threw a jab starting in the sixth and Magsayo managed to take advantage of his handicapped opponent beginning in the 10th.

As Magsayo declared his open challenge, Russell expressed his desire to set up a rematch against the new champion.

“I’ll rematch him, hell yeah,” said Russell.

Magsayo, however, didn’t give a concrete answer when asked about a potential rematch as he’d rather let MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons take care of the match-making.

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Mark Magsayo becomes latest Filipino world champion, edges Gary Russell Jr.

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