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Mark Magsayo vs Rey Vargas possible for July

Magsayo upset Gary Russell Jr. for the WBC featherweight belt in January

Gary Russell Jr v Mark Magsayo Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

The WBC announced on its website today that, as previously reported by Jake Donovan, newly crowned featherweight champion Mark Magsayo’s inaugural title defense could see him face mandatory challenger Rey Vargas this coming July.

Vargas (35-0, 22 KO) enjoyed a lengthy reign as super bantamweight champion before a broken leg forced a long stretch of inactivity and ultimately led to him vacating the title. He was slated to challenge Gary Russell Jr. for the featherweight belt in his divisional debut, but instead tested the waters with a decision over Leonardo Baez last November to end a two-year layoff.

This allowed Magsayo (24-0, 16 KO), who’d brutally knocked out Julio Ceja in an eliminator three months prior, to face Russell in his stead. “Magnifico” wound up upsetting an injured Russell, marking the first time that belt had changed hands since Russell stopped Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015.

It’s a strong matchup to be sure, and we’ll keep you posed if and when it comes closer to completion.

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