By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Days after Mark Magsayo’s historic dethroning of former World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight king Gary Russell Jr., the Filipino world champion will take a few months off before tackling another superstar challenger.
After Russell Jr., the WBC has ordered Rey Vargas, the former WBC super-bantamweight champion from 2017-2020 to challenge Magsayo for the featherweight belt.
Vargas chose to vacate his title last 2020 when he suffered a foot injury and became eligible to move up to the featherweight division with the approval of WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
The Mexican boxing sensation also holds a stellar record the same with Magsayo and is also undefeated his whole professional career with 35 wins and 22 knockouts.
“The title shot comes to me at an excellent time, during a great period of my life, with greater maturity, now I enjoy things more, I commit myself more, I have always been a perfectionist, but now I’m even more so. All of this has taken me to where I am and the goal is to be a new world champion,” shared Vargas.
Unlike Russell Jr., Vargas is taller and has a reach advantage over Magsayo, one thing that will keep the Mexican dangerous for the whole 12 rounds.
“We are the mandatory challenger, Mr. Sulaiman has just confirmed it. We knew we were going straight to the title, we just waited to find out who would win that fight between Russell and Magsayo and since Magsayo is the new champion, then we are going against him,” added Vargas.
Aside from the historic Filipino-Mexican boxing duel, the long-time rivalry between Magsayo and Vargas’ head trainers will again resurface in the sport.
Freddie Roach, who supervises Magsayo, will again clash inside the ring against Nacho Beristain, Vargas’ trainer who was also the chief tactician of Juan Manuel Marquez’s corner when they fought the legendary Manny Pacquiao several times during their glory days.