Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas: Fight Prediction, Undercard, Start Time, Odds, Preview, Showtime Boxes


Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas: Fight Prediction, Undercard, Start Time, Odds, Preview, Showtime Boxes

On Saturday night, WBC Featherweight Champion Mark Magsayo will try to prove his title reign is no fluke when he fights Rey Vargas. The action emanates from the Alamodome in San Antonio (9 p.m. ET, Showtime).

Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) won his title in January by making a majority decision over Gary Russell Jr. Russell entered the fight stating he was dealing with a right shoulder injury. This was very evident throughout the fight as Russell basically fought with one hand. Still, the fight was tight the entire time as Magsayo repeatedly moved to Russell’s left, allowing Russell to weaponize the one hand he really had available throughout.

In the end, Magsayo was able to do enough to push back the decision to go unbeaten and end Russell’s nearly seven-year title reign, a reign extended by Russell by defending his title just six times over that stretch.

“This is something very special for me. I saw Manny Pacquiao fight Marco Antonio Barrera in San Antonio at the Alamodome and that day I decided to start working out at the gym. I’m so thankful to have this fight – what 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’ve already beat Russell, but I just want to keep proving myself. We’re both going to go inside very confidently and that’s going to make it a great fight.”

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Vargas (35-0, 22 KOs) is the former WBC super bantamweight champion, having won the title against Gavin McDonnell in February 2017. He successfully defended the belt five times before being sacked for two years due to various issues with his promotion team and a broken leg.

Vargas returned to the action last November, making his featherweight debut and making a dominant decision over Leonardo Baez. He was then used as Magsayo’s mandatory challenger.

“If you want to exchange shots, I’m happy to do that. I take it as a compliment that he’s brought a lot of people into his team. He takes me seriously, but I think it’s an advantage for me because I feel that he’s worried,” Vargas said.

“We certainly have great coaches in every corner. Freddie is a great coach and I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the ring against him before. In the end it will only be Mark and I in the ring. We’re ready to put on a show.”

The undercard features the return of former super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa as 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 also suffering the first loss of his career when he lost a split decision to Luis Nery in February.

“My last loss taught me a lot and I’m coming back with everything I’ve got. I’ve had an excellent training camp and I’m really looking forward to coming back and proving, as I did at 122lbs, that I belong in this division and that I’m among the best,” said Figueroa. “I was in my last fight learned to be a little more patient. I learned that I need to use my size and technical ability to my advantage.”

Map Magsayo vs Vargas, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Rey Vargas-125

Mark Magsayo (c) +105

WBC featherweight title

Brandon Figueroa-700

Carlo Castro +500

Super bantamweight

Frank Martin-1200

Jackson Marinez +750



Magsayo is not a difficult fighter to understand. He comes forward and tries to get inside to fight. He’s got solid power, as he showed when he brutally took out Julio Ceja to set up his title shot, but consistently landing within range against a long-haired fighter like Vargas will be a problem. The Mexican is the better fighter on a technical level and his ability to use his reach while taking down a lot of decent opponents was impressive.

The odds of going into the fight are a lot lower than you’d expect given the stylistic matchup and some of the troubles Magsayo has had in his career, including his title win against one-armed Russell. This seems like the kind of fight where Vargas is able to dictate range and pace, working his way to a decision victory and a secondweight division title. Choice: Rey Vargas via UD

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