Mark Magsayo promoter says Gary Russell Jr. deserves a rematch
MANILA, Philippines—Mark Magsayo’s promoter Sean Gibbons believes former champion Gary Russell Jr. is fully deserving of a rematch following the Filipino’s WBC world featherweight title victory on Sunday.
In a report from BoxingScene.com, Gibbons said Russell put on an astounding effort during the fight as he dealt with not only injuries but also matters outside the sport.
“I would say Gary absolutely deserves a rematch,” said Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions. “He fought gallantly. He fought through a lot of stuff with his father, with his brother’s passing, the injury he sustained in the fight.”
“So, I wanted to say to everybody I believe he deserves a rematch, if it fits into the schedule, and that he’s a classy guy. He really is, man. The guy showed up, fought hurt or whatever it was, so I like the Russell family. I really do.”
Russell Sr. was absent for much of the training camp after he had one of his feet amputated due to complications from type 2 diabetes.
Gary Boosa Russell, meanwhile, passed away due to cardiac arrest in 2020 less than two weeks before Christmas.
Magsayo was Russell’s mandatory challenger in the Atlantic City fight and mandated matches typically don’t have rematch clauses in the contract, but that doesn’t concern the champion’s camp too much.
Russell, who fought with an injured right shoulder, already expressed his desire for a rematch right after Magsayo was announced as champion.
“I would never turn down a rematch,” said Magsayo’s trainer Freddie Roach. “But the thing is, we would do it if he was more active of a fighter and so forth, and we could count on it happening not in two years, sooner.
“He has taken two years off twice now and I think down time is the worst thing in the world for fighters. And it showed in his performance, it really did. Activity is the best thing for fighters. It’s just the way it is, in my opinion.”