Gary Russell cites injury similar to Manny Pacquiao for Mark Magsayo loss
Ex-world champion Gary Russell Jr. blamed an injury reminiscent of the one Manny Pacquiao cited for his loss against Floyd Mayweather back in 2015.
On Saturday night, Russell surrendered his WBC super featherweight belt to Pacquiao protege Mark Magsayo in Atlantic City.
The defeat marked only the fifth defense of the title by Russell during a seven-year reign and freed up the green and gold strap for activity again.
Magsayo did enough to take the victory via majority decision. However, Russell said he injured his shoulder weeks before the fight and wanted to compete anyway.
MANNY PACQUIAO INJURY
The situation echoed when Pacquiao entered the ring against Mayweather and stated the same thing in his post-fight press conference.
Russell appeared to injure the shoulder, throwing a short right hand, and immediately winced in pain and retreated from the action.
He could re-adjust his game plan and had success focusing solely on variations of his left hand.
The defending ruler slowed down the action and landed several clean shots to keep Magsayo at bay in a display of ring generalship.
But it wasn’t enough to win over the judges.
“I believe I have a torn tendon in my right shoulder,” said Russell. “I haven’t competed in almost two years.
“This is what true champions do. I wanted to step into the ring and display my superiority regardless of the injury.”
Continuing, Russell added: “I hurt the shoulder about two weeks ago. But I went through with the fight because I’m a true champion, which is what warriors do.
“I’m going to fight regardless of what the situation is. I refuse not to compete and display my skillsets to my fans.
“The people that came out to show support and love. Please believe that I will be back. I still want these fights.”
Russell thought he did enough to get his arm raised even with the ailment.
“I believed in my skill set and what I bring into the ring,” said Russell. “I felt like I still won the fight, to be honest.
“Hell yeah, I want a rematch. Would [Magsayo] he want a rematch? That’s the question.”
Despite those calls by Russell, it’s unlikely Magsayo would agree on a second fight unless stipulated in the contract or the offer was far too good to turn down.
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