Mark Magsayo Rises to Super Featherweight after 2 Failed World Titles


Former world champion Mark Magsayo steps up to super featherweight boxing after suffering two straight defeats in his quest for the world featherweight belt. Continuous defeats in the fight for the featherweight championship belt made Mark Magsayo determined that this was the time for him to enter the junior lightweight class (super featherweight).

Magsayo made his intentions clear as he met with a small group of reporters in the locker room following his 12-round loss to Brandon Figueroa on Saturday night at the Toyota Arena. “I think we will move up to the 58.9 kg class,” said Magsayo.

With a loss to Brandon Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KOs), the Filipino powerhouse lost his chance to rematch Rey Vargas. Vargas from Mexico defeated Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs) via split decision in Magsayo’s previous fight, which lasted 12 rounds on July 9 at the Alamodome, San Antonio.

Magsayo and Figueroa battled for the WBC interim featherweight title. Vargas (30-1, 22 KOs) watched their fight from ringside three weeks after the 57.1 kg WBC champion suffered his first professional loss to O’Shaquie Foster in 12 rounds for the current 58.9 kg WBC title. it’s still empty. Foster (20-2, 11 KOs), of Orange, Texas, unanimously defeated Vargas via unanimous decision on February 11 at the Alamodome.

If Magsayo is to stay in the featherweight division, he will have to work hard to return to title contention. The Valencia, California resident defeated reigning champion Gary Russell Jr (31-2, 18 KOs) via majority decision to claim the WBC featherweight title in January 2022 at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The 27-year-old challenger has become increasingly difficult to reach the featherweight mark over the last 13 months. Magsayo failed to weigh in on his first try on Friday, when he stepped onto the scales for the California State Athletic Commission at 57.5 kilograms. It took him nearly two hours given by CSAC to return to the scales at exactly 57.1 kg kilograms.

Sean Gibbons, a representative for Magsayo’s promoter, admitted after his loss on Saturday night, that Magsayo should have moved up the division to super featherweight boxing if he didn’t get the chance to become featherweight champion.

“He felt like he was going to step up [58,9 kg] before this opportunity comes,” said Gibbons, president of promotion company Manny Pacquiao. “We’re going up to [58,9 kg], and then the fight against Figueroa came. And he said, ‘You know what? For this type of fight, I’d do it again. And as you can see, it’s not easy. You know, he made it, but it, you know, took a little something out of him.”


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