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Magsayo vs Vargas: Mark Magsayo confident he’ll get the better of Rey Vargas in July 9 fight

Magsayo and Vargas are set to square off this Saturday in a Showtime main event live from San Antonio.

Magsayo isn’t looking to be the next Manny Pacquiao, he’s looking to create his own legacy.
Magsayo isn’t looking to be the next Manny Pacquiao, he’s looking to create his own legacy.
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

This weekend WBC featherweight titleholder Mark Magsayo will put his belt on the line against Rey Vargas in a Showtime main event being held at San Antonio’s Alamodome. Looking ahead to the meeting between the two unbeaten fighters, Magsayo says he’s proud of becoming world champion and while he’s looking forward to this fight, he isn’t so much looking forward to chasing Vargas all over the ring.

“It was an amazing feeling to bring honor to my country by winning the world title earlier this year,” Magsayo said. “But at the end of the day, I’m still the same humble guy that I’ve always been. It was very emotional returning home and seeing how proud everyone was of me.

“I’m facing a fighter who’s usually going backwards. He’s tall, so that’s always his plan. I’m hoping he doesn’t run too much in this fight. If I’m able to get to the right distance with him, I’m going to get the knockout.”

Magsayo would continue by saying that he’s been covering all bases during this training camp leading into the fight, and that no matter what strategy Vargas tries to employ on the night, he’ll be ready.

“I’m prepared for anything he brings,” Magsayo said. “I’ve gotten great sparring with guys who move, guys who go toe-to-toe and everything in between. It doesn’t matter how he fights, I’ll be ready for it.”

But despite saying he’s prepared for every potential eventuality in the ring this weekend, he truly doesn’t believe Vargas will be coming to throw down with him in exchanges, therefore being light on his feet will be necessary.

“My footwork is definitely very important in this fight. Just like against Gary Russell Jr., I’m going to have to make adjustments. I’m not expecting him to mix it up with me.

“I’ve already faced the best fighter in the division, and that was Gary Russell Jr. I beat him clearly and I believe that sent a message to the rest of the division. Even before he hurt his shoulder or whatever happened, I was winning the rounds.”

Magsayo believes he’s been steadily improving his quality over the years and credits Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach for developing his skill set which he’ll look to employ against Vargas.

“I’ve learned so much at the Wild Card Gym with Freddie Roach,” Magsayo added. “I’ve become a much more accurate puncher with a legendary coach like Freddie. It’s a relief to know that they have my back and will be able to get the most out of me as a fighter.”

Naturally, of course, being a Filipino champion will only invite comparisons to the great Manny Pacquiao, but for Magsayo, he’s not looking to be the next coming of Pacquiao, just the best version of himself.

“The thing I learned from Manny Pacquiao is that discipline is the most important thing. Without that, you’re nothing in this sport. That’s what helps drive me day after day,” Magsayo would say.

“There’s no ‘next Manny Pacquiao’, there’s only one Manny Pacquiao. My only goal is to make my career as great as I can. Being compared to Manny doesn’t faze me. I just want to put my own name in the history books.”

In the meanwhile Magsayo dismisses any notion from Vargas about knocking him out this weekend, finding it very hard to believe he’ll be willing to take the necessary chances to get him out of there.

“All of my opponents say they’re going to knock me out,” Magsayo said. “I definitely don’t believe Vargas because I don’t see him pushing for it. Him saying that is just going to motivate me and make me better on July 9.”