One pound less: Gary Russell Jr. makes weight on second try

By: Glendale Rosal - Correspondents - CDN Digital | January 22,2022 - 01:18 PM

Gary Russell Jr. (left) and Mark Magsayo (right) engaged in a stare down during their official weigh-in ahead of their world title duel tomorrow in Atlantic City, New Jersey. | Photo from Showtime Boxing

CEBU CITY, Philippines— The reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) world featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. needed to step on the weighing scales twice to get the mandatory weight ahead of his title defense against Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo on Friday (Saturday, Manila Time) in Atlantic City.

The 33-year old American first stepped on the weighing scales at 126.5 pounds. However, he was over the mandatory weight limit and needed to cut off the excess weight to avoid repercussions, particularly losing the title.

On his second try, Russell Jr., who will make his sixth title defense, finally weighed in at 125.5 lbs. He needed to strip off his clothes, leaving only his underwear to reach the desired weight.

Meanwhile, the 26-year old Magsayo, the pride of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, who will have his first world title shot, easily tipped the scales at 125.5lbs on his first try.

Their much-anticipated world title showdown is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday (Sunday Manila Time).

Earlier this week, Russell Jr. revealed he is suffering from a ‘slight injury.’ Still, he refused to divulge more information about it and told everyone that it was very manageable and won’t affect his performance in the ring.

Furthermore, Russell Jr. hasn’t fought since February 2020, which was the last time he defended the world title against Tugstsogt Nyambayar and won by unanimous decision.

Magsayo easily made the weight, thanks to his nutritionist, Jeaneth Aro, the nutritionist of several Filipino Olympians, including the country’s first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

Aro, a certified International Olympic Committee (IOC) nutritionist, monitored Magsayo’s nutrition since last year and recently arrived in Atlantic City to accompany the former.

Magsayo is unbeaten at 23 wins with 16 knockouts. He earned the spot as a mandatory challenger of the WBC featherweight title after knocking out Mexican Julio Ceja last August.

On the other hand, Russell sports a 31-1 (win-loss) record with 18 knockouts.

In terms of height and reach, Magsayo has the upper hand. The Boholano slugger is 5-foot-6, while his reach is 68-inches. Russell Jr. is 5-foot-4.5 tall, and his reach is at 64 inches. / dcb

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TAGS: Gary Russell Jr., Mark Magsayo, step on the weighing scales twice, title defense, world featherweight champion

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