I watched the Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magsayo boxing event for the WBC featherweight championship last Saturday night and I felt the right man won.
I had Magsayo winning 7 rounds to 5, the fight was close and it was competitive but I just felt the Filipino was more in control and Russell was less active.
Russell was injured heading into the fight and I have no clue why he needed to reveal that before the fight. Maybe he was looking for a reason just in case he lost or looked less than great.
I think the ring rust from being off for 2 years is what did Russell in. He looked slower and sluggish and even though he had a hurt shoulder he was still throwing punches so I have to give him credit for toughing it out.
I saw some social media rumblings that suggested Russell was robbed or Magsayo sucks and he won’t hold the belt long etc. Some harsh comments hurled toward a young champion who fought a smart fight and is still growing as a fighter.
The boxing media was hyping Magsayo up, but even though I felt he won the fight, he didn’t look so great.
One thing I noticed with Magsayo is his lack of killer instinct. He clearly has the power, but he was very timid or gun shy in the ring against a one armed fighter in Russell Jr.
I know Magsayo looks up to his fellow countryman Manny Pacquiao, but if he wants to be great like Pacquiao he will need to go for the finish and be more exciting and fearless.
The reason Pacquiao became such a big star is because of his fearless and ferocious fighting style, if he hurt a guy he would go for the finish and throw a lot of fast punches.
Magsayo kind of reminded me of that other Filipino fighter Mercito Gesta. Gesta has talent and natural athletic ability, but he also suffers from being inconsistent and having no killer instinct.
Magsayo and Gesta both look like they are sparring rather than fighting, and I wonder if this has to do with too much time sparring in the gym and it carries over into the ring.
I like Magsayo, he is a humble kid and has a good head on his shoulders, but he needs to work on his offensive aggression more and Freddie Roach is the man who can teach him that but he will need to implement it in the ring.