Mark Magsayo defeated Gary Russell Jr on Saturday night to end his seven-year reign of the featherweight world title.
2022 is only a few weeks old and there is already a huge change in the boxing landscape.
Filipino Mark Magsayo ended the longest championship in male professional boxing after beating Gary Russell Jr on points to win the WBC featherweight world title.
The future is certainly exciting for Magsayo, who has a long career ahead of him at 26, but will he be the next great boxer to come out of the Philippines?
Congratulations, @markmagsayo_MMM , on your first world championship! Thank you for bringing honor to our country by becoming the newest Filipino Boxing World Champion. Welcome to the club.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) January 23, 2022
First of all, Magsayo has a perfect mentor and promoter in the form of former eightweight world champion Manny Pacquiao. Since the 43-year-old announced his retirement after his loss to Yordenis Ugas last summer, there has been a void when it comes to the face of Filipino boxing.
The newly crowned WBC 126lb champion certainly has the credentials to now fill that void and become the new poster boy.
With a record of 24-0 with 16 wins via knockout, Magsayo already has a lot of experience and a number of opportunities that he could pursue in his next few fights.
There is a chance of a rematch with Russell Jr after the American cited that an injury to his right shoulder had affected his performance at Atlantic City, but if that doesn’t happen, plenty of options remain.
Magsayo could continue to unite the 126lb division, WBA ‘regular’ champion Leigh Wood and IBF title holder Kiko Martinez are all set to make defense over the next month or two, or could Magsayo step into the ring with hard hitting Mexican and WBO – featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete? If those two were to meet, it has the potential to be an exciting matchup.
A weight gain could also be on the table.
The super featherweight division will look a lot clearer in late April after WBO champion Shakur Stevenson takes on WBC title holder Oscar Valdez. A 130-pound clash between two WBC champions would make for an intriguing storyline and send Magsayo on a similar trajectory to his promoter Pacquiao, who often went up and down weight classes.
Expect to hear and see a lot more from Mark Magsayo in the coming years. The new WBC featherweight champion has written himself in the Philippines’ boxing history and will now strive to bring the country back to the forefront of world boxing.