MMA fighting

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

On Saturday night, WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo will be looking to prove his reign is no fluke when he takes on Rey Vargas. The action descends from the Alamodome to San Antonio (9 p.m. ET show time).

Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) won his title in January, taking a majority decision over Gary Russell Jr. Russell came into the fight saying he was out with a right shoulder injury. This was very noticeable throughout the fight as Russell basically fought one-handed. Still, the fight was close throughout as Magsayo repeatedly moved to Russell’s left, allowing Russell to use the only hand he really had as a weapon throughout.

In the end, Magsayo was able to do enough to edge out the decision, remain undefeated and end Russell’s nearly seven-year title reign, a reign that was extended by Russell defending his title just six times in that time. period.

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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 would successfully defend the belt five times before a two-year layoff due to various issues with his promotional team. and a broken leg.

Last November, Vargas returned to action, making his featherweight debut and taking a dominant decision over Leonardo Baez. He was then inserted as Magsayo’s mandatory challenger. Figueroa, 25, hasn’t 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 is having a tough test for Castro, who is also coming off the first loss of his career when he lost a split decision to Luis Nery in February.

The undercard features the return of former super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa when he takes on Carlos Castro.

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 steps forward and tries to get inside to fight. 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 will be a problem against a long fighter like Vargas. The Mexican is the better fighter technically and his ability to use his reach while knocking out plenty of decent opponents has been impressive.

The pre-fight odds are a lot closer than you’d expect, given the stylistic matchup and some of the issues 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 the range and pace and work his way to a decision victory and a title at a second weight class. Pick: Rey Vargas via UD