Gary Russell Jr On Magsayo Fight: “I Truly Believe I Won Hands Down!”

Gary Russell Jr Says There Was A Clear Skill Gap With Mark Magsayo

Gary Russell Jr fighting Mark Magsayo
Gary Russell Jr fighting Mark Magsayo

Gary Russell Jr. is Defiant in Defeat to Mark Magsayo

For almost seven years, “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr (31-2, 18 KO’s) has reigned as the WBC featherweight champion. No other current champion can boost such a lengthy run and be telling the truth. That rule came to an end when the DC native ran across Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao protégé Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (24-0, 16 KO’s). Following twelve rounds of neck-and-neck action, Mr. was separated from his coveted belt once branded with a majority decision loss.

Even while he was the champion going in, Russell faced a stacked deck entering the dustup. To begin, Magsayo was no slouch and had earnestly earned his #1 (WBO), #2 (WBC) and #5 (IBF) rankings. The former champion was also fighting straight off a two-year layoff. Furthermore, his father and chief second had only a glimmer of his normal influence on camp. To top everything off, Russell clearly hurt his arm during the fourth round of his duel with Magnifico.


Watching the fight live left viewers with the impression that the damage done to Russell’s shoulder happened right then and there, that night. This is not the case, however. In the aftermath of the match, Mr. revealed to reporters that he’d long known his arm was impaired.

“I’m a warrior at the end of the day! I knew I had an injury, I refused to postpone this fight after almost a two year layoff. I wanted to get back in there and display my skill set, I believe that I did so with one arm with a tough opponent!”

“I’m going to go get this thing figured out. It was an injury that’s been haunting me for a long time. Before the 2008 Olympics I had a torn tendon and they wanted me to go do surgery. I refused to go and get surgery and go under the knife. They told me I was able to strengthen the muscle around it to actually protect it.

That’s what I was able to do throughout the duration of my career. And I hurt it two weeks out from today. If you actually pay attention to some of my interviews you actually probably see me wearing a sling in some of my interviews. ”


Even still Mr. is firm in his belief that he did more than enough to get this nod on the score cards.

“Like I say, ten rounds to two, nine rounds to three hands down [for me]!

“[…] I got an opportunity to show the fans what I can really truly do. You know, I am a real champion at the end of the day! I don’t regret it! I think it’s going to be a lot of fans that are going to be disappointed at the decision, the way that the judges has called this thing. But, it’s also going to be a lot of people who say, ‘hey Gary is definitely the truth!’

I truly believe I won the fight, like I say nine rounds to three, ten rounds to two. He couldn’t touch me! The little scars that I possibly got on here, this was the headbutt. He landed maybe two solid clean shots for real, for real in the entire fight that I can honestly think of. I out-boxed him, I out-pointed him, I out-classed him the whole way through!”


Regardless of how Russell feels about the matter, the fact still remains that he is no longer a champion. And, he has a busted shoulder to boot. Yet, Mr. has always prided himself on his warrior mindset. With this being the case, he has already vowed to reestablish himself as a preeminent talent in the division and to once again wear a world title around his waist. Time will tell!

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By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a writer and contributor for Visit to view more of his literary work.