Monday, August 15, 2022

Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas: Fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, preview, Showtime Boxing

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.

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.

Magsayo vs. Vargas card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Rey Vargas -125

Mark Magsayo (c) +105

WBC featherweight title

Brandon Figueroa -650

Carlos Castro +475

Super bantamweight

Frank Martin -1000

Jackson Marinez +650

Lightweight

Prediction

Magsayo is not a difficult fighter to figure out. He comes forward and tries to get inside to brawl. He has solid power, as was on display when he brutally knocked out Julio Ceja to set up his title shot, but getting in range to land consistently is going to be an issue against a rangy fighter like Vargas. The Mexican is the better fighter on a technical level and his ability to utilize his reach while picking apart plenty of decent opponents has been impressive.

The odds heading into the fight are much closer than you’d expect giving the stylistic matchup and some of the troubles Magsayo has had in his career, including his title win over one-armed Russell. This seems like the kind of fight where Vargas is able to dictate range and pace and work his way to a decision victory and a title in a second weight class. Pick: Rey Vargas via UD

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