Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo secured a majority decision win over American boxer Gary Russell Jr. and received the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight belt in Atlantic City on Saturday.
#AndNew 🇵🇭🙌🏼 @markmagsayo_MMM ends Gary Russell Jr’s title reign to become the WBC Featherweight World Champion. #RussellMagsayo pic.twitter.com/oWSYIwGoyf
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 23, 2022
Magsayo, who has an undefeated record of 24-0, succeeded in his first attempt at winning a world title, with two judges scoring the fight 115-113 in his favor and one judge scoring it at 114-114, reported Rappler.
During the post-fight interview, the 26-year-old athlete said, “This is a dream come true. This was my dream since I was a kid, since I was an amateur. Now I’m a professional, I’m a world champion.”
Magsayo won the WBC title that Russell held for nearly seven years, the longest period a boxer has ever held onto a championship.
The victory places Magsayo among the current ranks of active Filipino boxing world champions Rene Cuarto, Jerwin Ancajas, John Riel Casimero, and Nonito Donaire, Inquirer reported.
Congratulations, @markmagsayo_MMM, on your first world championship! Thank you for bringing honor to our country by becoming the latest Filipino world boxing champion. Welcome to the club.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) January 23, 2022
Former boxing champion and current Philippine presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao congratulated Magsayo via a tweet.
“Thank you for bringing honor to our country by becoming the latest Filipino world boxing champion. Welcome to the club,” wrote the octuple boxing champion.
Russell, who reportedly sustained a right shoulder injury two weeks prior to the match, endured a barrage of jabs and counterpunches from Magsayo throughout the fight.
Featured Image via SHOWTIME Sports