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Mark Magsayo Takes Advantage of Damaged Goods and Upsets Gary Russell Jr

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  • Mark Magsayo Takes Advantage of Damaged Goods and Upsets Gary Russell Jr

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    By Arne K. Lang

    SHOWTIME was at the Borgata in Atlantic City tonight with a tripleheader. In the main go, WBC featherweight champion Gary Allen Russell Jr, who had the odd distinction of being the sport’s longest-reigning and least active world title-holder, was dethroned by Mark Magsayo in a bout that begs for a rematch, not because it was fan-friendly, but because Magsayo’s win was tainted. Russell was handicapped by an injury to his right shoulder that reduced him to a one-armed fighter for most of the battle.

    It appeared that the injury happened in the fourth frame when Russell winced after taking a punch on his right shoulder. However, in his post-fight interview with Jim Gray, Russell allowed that he may have torn a tendon in the shoulder two weeks ago in training camp. Even with that handicap, Russell, who started slowly, almost kept his title, losing a majority decision. One of the judges had it a draw, but the others credited Magsayo with winning seven of the 12 rounds.

    A protégé of Manny Pacquiao, his Filipino countryman, Magsayo is the latest fighter to win a world title with Freddie Roach in his corner. He entered the bout undefeated (23-0, 16 KOs), but was a heavy underdog against Russell, now 31-2, whose lone previous defeat was also by majority decision, that coming in 2014 at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko.


    In the semi wind-up, an action-packed slugfest, Subriel Matias avenged the lone defeat on his ledger and advanced to 18-1 (18 KOs) with late-round TKO over game but out-gunned Petros Ananyan (16-3-2). Ananyan went down hard after absorbing a vicious left hook right before the bell ending round nine and the ring physician wouldn’t let him come out for the 10th. There was no dissent as the tide had turned strongly in Matias’s favor (shades of the tragic Matias-Dadashev fight) and Ananyan’s visage bore witness that he had taken a frightful amount of punishment.

    In their first meeting in February of last year at the MGM Grand, Ananyan, an LA-based Armenian, methodically wore Matias down to win a close but unanimous decision in a major upset. Puerto Rico’s Matias, 29, was a different fighter tonight. His victory may have earned him a match with Argentina’s Jeremiah Ponce for a vacant IBF title.


    In the TV opener, a 10-round featherweight contest, Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-2-1) had a strong final round to salvage a draw with late sub Sakaria Lukas, a 37-year-old sergeant in the Namibian Marine Corps. The judges had it 96-94, 94-96, and 95-95.

    There were no official knockdowns, but a knockdown by the Namibian that was ruled a slip in round eight factored large in the outcome. A 2012 Olympic silver medalist for Mongolia, the LA-based Nayambayar, formerly a well-regarded prospect, is 1-2-1 in his last four. Lucas, a big underdog, was 25-1 heading in.

    In an undercard fight of note, Evan Holyfield improved to 9-0 (6) with a 6-round unanimous decision over gritty but outclassed Chris Rollins (5-4-1). It was something of a moral victory for Rollins, a 32-year-old campaigner from Charlottesville, VA, who wasn’t expected to last the distance.

    Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel
    Last edited by AcidArne; 01-23-2022, 08:19 AM.

  • #2
    Russell was beaten badly and obviously. It was obvious in the opening round he would be beaten by the bigger man. You’d have to be blind or just “following the science” to not see that. Listening to the biased SHO announcers call the fight as close and competitive was outdone in its foolishness only by Russell claiming to have won “9 or 10” rounds. Dude was beaten past the point of intellectual honesty. Congrats to “the new” Pacquiao. 😉


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