Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas: date, time, how to watch, background
Magsayo vs Vargas results, start time, live stream, how to watch, full fight card
On Saturday night, WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo will look to prove his title reign is no fluke when he battles Rey Vargas. The action goes down from the Alamodome in San Antonio (9 p.m. ET, Showtime).
Magsayo (24-0, 16 KO) won his title in January, taking a majority decision against Gary Russell Jr. Russell entered the fight stating he was dealing with a right shoulder injury. That was very much on display throughout the fight as Russell fought basically one-handed. Still, the fight was close throughout as Magsayo repeatedly moved to Russell's left, allowing Russell to use the one hand he truly had available as a weapon throughout.
In the end, Magsayo was able to do enough to edge out the decision, remain undefeated and end Russell's near seven-year title reign, a reign that was extended by Russell defending his title just six times over that stretch.
How to watch Mark Magsayo vs Rey Vargas
Date: Saturday, July 9
Time: 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT
UK, Australia, Philippines & other countries
Date: Sunday, July 10
Time: 2 am BST / 11 am AEST / 9 am PST
"This is very special for me. I watched Manny Pacquiao fight Marco Antonio Barrera in San Antonio at the Alamodome and that was the day that I decided to start training in the gym. I'm so thankful to have this fight -- which is a dream come true -- happen here in San Antonio," Magsayo said at the final press conference.
"This is a very important fight for me. I already beat Russell, but I just want to keep proving myself. We're both going to go in there very confident in ourselves and that's going to make it a great fight."
Vargas (35-0, 22 KO) is the former WBC super bantamweight champion, having won the title against Gavin McDonnell in February 2017. He would successfully defend the belt five times before a two-year layoff due to various issues with his promotional team and a broken leg.
This past November, Vargas returned to action, making his debut at featherweight and taking a dominant decision over Leonardo Baez. He was then slotted in as Magsayo's mandatory challenger.
"If you want to exchange blows, I'm more than happy to do that. I see it as a compliment that he's added a lot of people to his team. He's taking me seriously, but I think it's an advantage for me, because I feel like he's worried," Vargas said.
"We certainly have great trainers in each corner. Freddie is a great trainer and I've had the pleasure of sharing the ring against him before. In the end, it's going to be just Mark and I inside the ring. We're ready to put on a show."
The undercard features the return of former super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa when he takes on Carlos Castro. Figueroa, 25, has not fought since losing a majority decision to Stephen Fulton in November to unify the WBC and WBO titles. It was the first loss of his blossoming career. He gets a tough test Castro, who is coming off the first loss of his career as well when he lost a split decision to Luis Nery in February.
Undefeated WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) of the Philippines makes the first defense of his belt against unbeaten former super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (35-0, 22 KOs) of Mexico at Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, July 9. The pair squares off in the scheduled for twelve rounds main event bout headlining the three-fight card live stream on Showtime in the United States and FITE in other countries. The date when the event airs live in the UK, Australia and the Philippines in Sunday, July 10.
In the co-main event former world champion Brandon Figueroa (22-1-1, 17 KOs) of the US and Carlos Castro (27-1, 12 KOs) of Mexico battle it out in the twelve-round WBC featherweight title eliminator. The telecast opener is a ten-round lightweight bout between unbeaten contender Frank Martin (15-0, 11 KOs) of the US and Jackson Marinez (19-2, 7 KOs) of Dominican Republic.
The undercard features Rashidi Ellis (23-0, 14 KOs) of the US up against Argentine Olympian Alberto Palmetta in the ten-rounder at welterweight and Ramon Cardenas (20-1, 10 KOs) of the US faceoff Michell Banquez (20-1, 14 KOs) of Venezuela in the ten-rounder at bantamweight. The full fight card, including a non-televised lineup, can be found below.