Mark Magsayo drops split decision to Rey Vargas in Alamodome

Things at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, didn’t go the way Mark Magsayo imagined as he lost his WBC featherweight title to Rey Vargas. 

In 2003, Manny Pacquiao scored one of the most memorable wins of his career against Marco Antonio Barrera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. On July 9, 19 years after that boxing bout, Mark Magsayo tried to follow in his idol’s footsteps at the same location against Rey Vargas.

Unfortunately for Magsayo, Pacquiao’s magic and good fortune didn’t follow him into the Alamodome.

Vargas out-boxed Magsayo over 12 rounds to win the split decision and hand Magsayo his first loss while taking his WBC featherweight title. It was an entertaining and competitive contest, but Vargas was the better man.

Magsayo, who is from the Philippines, idolized Pacquiao growing up and signed with his MP Promotions company. He calls Pacquiao a friend and mentor today and even trains with Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach.

In rounds 1 and 2, Magsayo looked a little like a young Pacquiao. He used hand speed and quick feet to win the rounds. He darted in and out of range flashing his strong calf muscles, reminiscent of Pacquiao.

Rey Vargas survived a knockdown in round 9 to defeat Mark Magsayo by split decision

Vargas is not an average fighter, though. He was also undefeated and former WBC super bantamweight champion. Vargas moved up to featherweight to challenge Magsayo and looked spectacular in his new weight class.

From round 3 on, Vargas’s 4-inch height and 2-inch reach advantages bothered Magsayo. Vargas kept most of the fight at arm’s length, and Magsayo struggled to get inside.

As Vargas was piling up the points, he made a rare mistake by walking into a Magsayo right hand in round 9. Vargas fell to the canvas and got up but gave up a 10-8 round to Magsayo.

Magsayo tried to hurt Vargas more in round 10, but he wasn’t aggressive enough, which allowed Vargas time to recover. Vargas regained momentum in round 11 and boxed well through the final bell.

One judge scored the bout 114-113 for Magsayo, but the others had it 115-112 for Vargas making him a world champion for the second time. Magsayo was gracious in defeat and recognized that he had come up short.

Magsayo is still a talent, but it was Vargas’s night, which is why he is the new WBC featherweight champion.


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