MARK Magsayo achieved his longtime dream of becoming a world champion after beating defending champion Gary Russell Jr. by majority decision to claim the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight belt on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, (PH time) at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Judge Lynne Carter saw the fight even at 114-114, while judges Mark Consentino and Henry Grant had identical scores of 115-114 in favor of Magsayo.

Magsayo tagged Russell with his patented right in the opening round.

Russell evaded Magsayo’s powerful shots in the second round. He also landed a left that had Magsayo backpedaling.

In the fourth round, Russell injured his right shoulder after landing a punch on Magsayo’s head. The ring physician examined Russell’s right arm and let him continue with the fight.

Russell admitted after the fight that he hurt his shoulder two weeks before the fight.

Russell fought the rest of the fight only using his left hand. He also defended Magsayo well despite using only one hand.

However, Russell’s punch output lowered which was visible on the punch statistics.

Magsayo landed 150 of his 543 punches thrown, while Russell landed 69 of his 323 punches thrown.

Magsayo remained unbeaten with 24-0 with 16 knockouts, while Russell, who came off a two-year layoff, dropped to 32-2 with 18 knockouts. Russell held the belt for six years and 10 months.

Magsayo joins the ranks of International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto, IBF super flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas, WBC super bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire Jr. and World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero.