After a little lull, the 2022 boxing calendar picks up where it left off with an all-action featherweight tilt on Showtime.
Mark Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) defends his WBC featherweight title against Rey Vargas (35-0, 22 KOs). Both men are undefeated and the odds are dictating this to be as close of a fight that there is on the schedule.
Let’s take a closer look and see where our picks and predictions line up with betting value.
Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas
Date: Saturday, July 9
Main card: 9 p.m. ET / 2 a.m. BST
Main event ringwalks (approx): 11 p.m. ET / 4 a.m. BST
Filipino Mark Magsayo will make his first defense of his WBC featherweight championship on Saturday, when he takes on Rey Vargas from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Magsayo upset long-reigning title holder Gary Russel, Jr in January to win the title. Now looking to prove that it was more than just a Russell injury that brought him the title, he takes on a fellow undefeated fighter and former champion in Rey Vargas.
Vargas returned from a long layoff due to injury and won a decision over Leonardo Baez. In the 122-lb division, Baez went on the road to the UK to win his first title. He has other victories over title contenders Oscar Negrete, Ronny Rios, and Azat Hovhannisyan. His most impressive victory may have come against Tomoki Kameda in 2019.
This is about as 50-50 of a fight that you are going to get on paper. Right now Vargas is the slight favorite at -115, with Magsayo coming in at -110. That said, I like the advantages Rey Vargas has. He’s more than three inches taller and has close to a three-inch reach advantage. The bout is taking place in San Antonio, so the crowd will most likely be pro-Vargas, who is Mexican.
I also think Vargas has more ways to win than Magsayo does. I feel like Magsayo may have the speed advantage, but Vargas has both the power as well as the experience advantages. I also think the Russell Jr victory was indeed a bit of a fluke for Magsayo. I would have liked to see how that fight played out without the right arm injury that forced him to fight with one arm for the last half of the fight.
I do think that Magsayo can win if he attacks Vargas like he attacked Russell Jr in the second half of the fight. But Rey Vargas will be there with his reach, height, and power advantages. It will be too much for the champ to overcome.
Both men are durable enough where I think this goes to a decision. So my picks are Rey Vargas winning the world title and the fight going the distance.
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