MARK Magsayo finally gets his much-anticipated world title shot this weekend and he won’t let this opportunity slip through his hands.

The 26-year-old Magsayo challenges longtime World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022 at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“Gary is a really good fighter. I’ve wanted to fight him for a long time. Now the opportunity is here and I can’t wait for the fight. I’m not expecting any ring rust from Gary Russell,” Magsayo said in the event’s final presser. “I think I’m the fighter who wants to beat him more than anyone else has. I’m here to give him his second loss on Saturday night.”

Russell has only lost once in his career, a majority decision loss to Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko in 2014.

He won the WBC belt after beating then champion Jhonny Gonzalez by a fourth round technical knockout in 2015. He has successfully defended his title five times.

Russell, however, hasn’t seen action since his unanimous decision win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar on Feb. 8, 2020.

Despite being out for close to two years, the 33-year-old Russell is confident that he’ll hand Magsayo his first career defeat.

“At the end of the day, I’m a gladiator and I love what I do. I love showing the skill set that I bring to the sport of boxing. Nothing has come easy for us. This is not unfamiliar territory for me or my family,” said Russell. “There are no concerns about ring rust. I’m always in the gym. I haven’t taken two months off from training since I was about four or five. Boxing is not just what I do. It’s a lifestyle for me.

Magsayo was already a promising prospect in his days at the now defunct ALA Gym. He moved to the US to train under the guidance of legendary trainer Freddie Roach in 2020. He finally got his world title shot after an impressive 10th round knockout of former world champion Julio Ceja last Aug. 21, 2021.

Magsayo is 23-0 with 16 knockouts, while Russell is 31-1 with 18 knockouts.