February 28, 2024

Mark Magsayo drops comeback fight, loses chance to fight for WBC gold again

Mark Magsayo drops comeback fight, loses chance to fight for WBC gold again
Screen grab from Premier Boxing Channel

Former WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo has now lost two in a row.

Coming off a loss to current WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas, where the Filipino lost his title in the process, Magsayo again went the distance, this time against Mexico’s Brandon Figueroa. And, again, Magsayo came out on the losing end via unanimous decision, 117-109, 117-109, and 118-108.

The scores, however, might not necessarily be indicative of the how the fight went, as it was actually much closer—particularly in the first seven rounds. In fact, both men had their moments, with Magsayo, in particular, using superb footwork and that jarring right to frustrate Figueroa in the early goings. But Figueroa, true to form, continued to charge forward and was largely in control for the last third of the fight.

Not helping Magsayo were the two points deducted by referee Thomas Taylor—one in the 8th round and another in the 11th, both for holding. The deducted points obviously didn’t factor into the final score, but they may have altered Magsayo’s game plan, which appeared to include holding Figueroa once he got inside to slow him down.

Magsayo looked gassed in the championship rounds, routinely beaten to the punch on the inside and struggling to stay on his feet as Figueroa poured it on. Curiously, the same thing happened in the previous two times the Filipino went the distance—that loss to Rey Vargas back in July and his championship-clinching victory over Gary Russell Jr. in January 2022.

With the loss, Magsayo also lost the vacant WBC interim featherweight belt, along with an immediate rematch with Vargas. That opportunity will now go to Figueroa, while Magsayo will likely drop a few spots in the featherweight rankings after back-to-back defeats.