Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magsayo: Fight prediction, card, odds, start time, how to watch, Showtime Boxing
Gary Russell Jr., boxing’s oldest champion, has made the most of his time in the ring. At 33, the WBC featherweight champion still aspires to fight with the best. Set to defend his title for the sixth time, Russell is ready to prove that he is still a top fighter.
Russell will fight another mandatory challenger, Mark Magsayo, on Saturday, January 22. It will be his first fight since 2020, a very different schedule compared to Russell’s usual annual campaign. There are a few reasons for the hiatus in activity.
In recent months, Russell has had to deal with the amputation of his father’s left foot due to complications from Type 2 diabetes. He is also dealing with a “minor injury” that could affect him. Russell is dedicating the fight to his father, who was able to attend the weigh-ins, and to his brother Gary “Boosa” Russell, who died of a heart attack in December 2020.
Russell is using everything that has happened in his life as motivation.
“I use it all as fuel,” Russell told Sporting News before his fight. “I like to fuel myself for progression. By any means necessary. We are the type of people that nothing came easy to us, so no complaints, no whining. I use all of the information and everything that goes on, I use it as fuel.”
Russell made his pro debut in 2009, four years after winning a Golden Gloves championship and a bronze medal at the World Championships. Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) suffered his only loss in 2014 against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Since then he has won seven in a row, including a victory over Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC featherweight title. In his last fight, he defeated Tugstsogt Nyambayar by unanimous decision to retain the title.
The champion has been very clear about who he wants to face. A while back, it was Leo Santa Cruz and Emanuel Navarrete. Russell has also shown interest in the lightweight champions. The right fight is something he still craves.