Gary Russell Jr. (left) and Mark Magsayo. AFP FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines—Mark Magsayo is a certified knockout artist having collected 16 stoppages in his perfect 23-0 career.

Gary Russell Jr., however, is undaunted by the Filipino’s power.

“None of that matters if you can’t hit your target, though. If you can’t land effectively, it doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t really matter how hard you can punch,” said Russell in a virtual press conference.

“I don’t have any concerns with Magsayo’s power.”

Russell (31-1-0) will defend his WBC World featherweight title against Magsayo on January 22 at Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City and the 33-year-old will go into the fight carrying a seven-fight winning streak.

The southpaw from Maryland in the United States has been the WBC’s 126-pound champion since March 2015 and the only loss of his career was against Vasyl Lomachenko via majority decision.

Magsayo, meanwhile, will be in his first World title fight and he earned that bout after he knocked out Julio Ceja in the Yordenis Ugas-Manny Pacquiao card in August 2021.

“I’m fighting Magsayo because he moved up the rankings and earned this spot,” said Russell, who last beat Tugstsogt Nyambayar via unanimous decision in February 2020.

“I know Magsayo will be at his physical and mental best. I take my hat off to him because he’s willing to put it on the line to prove he’s the best.”


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