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Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas: Vargas becomes WBC featherweight champion via split decision

Mark Magsayo and Rey Vargas are facing off on Saturday in a featherweight title bout. We’ll be updating round by round.

Gary Russell Jr. (L) fights Mark Magsayo (R) for the WBC World Featherweight Championship at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on January 22, 2022 in Atlantic City, United States. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

UPDATE: Vargas SD-12 against Magasyo (115-112, 113-114, 115-112) to become new WBC Featherweight champion.

The featherweight division is in the spotlight on Saturday evening as Mark Magsayo puts his WBC title on the line against Rey Vargas. The fight tops a Showtime card that gets going at 9 p.m. ET. We can expect the title bout to get started in the 11 p.m. hour.

Magsayo is making his first defense of the title, which he won in January with a majority decision over Gary Russell, Jr. Although Magsayo is 24-0, he’s a slight underdog to Vargas at DraftKings Sportsbook. Vargas is installed at -120 while Magsayo is -105. The favored winning outcome is Vargas by decision (+150), followed by Magsayo by decision (+180). A Vargas stoppage is +500 while a Magsayo stoppage is +400.

We’ll be providing live updates as the fight gets going, including round-by-round scoring until a winner is determined.

Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas round-by-round results

Round 1: Magsayo 10-9

We are underway! Magsayo gets the action underway with a stiff right to Vargas’ chin. Vargas responds with a combo and then throws a heavy left hook that Magsayo blocks. Vargas connects with a body shot with the right and both fighters are throwing power punches early. Vargas lands another body shot, but Magsayo instantly responds with a left hook as the round ends.

Round 2: Magsayo 10-9, 20-18

These guys are showcasing their power and this one has a shot to end early if someone lands one clean. They trade hooks as Vargas works the body and Magsayo lands some semi-clean to the head. Both fighters are lunging with the other trying to work off the counters. Magsayo catches Vargas coming across with a swift shot to the chin. Neither fighter is trying to establish a jab and they are looking for the heavy shot early. Magsayo hits two jabs and a right as the round ends.

Round 3: Vargas 10-9, 28-29

The slugfest continues as each fighter is trading heavy blows to start the round. Vargas is starting to set up his left jab and Magsayo is playing defensively looking for an opening so that he can charge in close to land some shots. Vargas lands two rights as the round ends. You can tell he is scared about going too far forward because he wants to keep his distance from Magsayo.

Round 4: Vargas 10-9, 38-38

Vargas is keeping his distance from Magsayo and continues to try and work in the left jab. Magsayo isn’t able to get in close and still is trying to swing wildly looking for the knockout blow. It is tough for Magsayo to set up a jab because it is keeping Vargas back and Magsayo is trying to get in close so that he can swing wildly. Vargas lands three left jabs in a row while Magsayo lands a big hook.

Round 5: Vargas 10-9, 48-47

Magsayo connects with a left and it looked like Vargas went down but it was instantly ruled a slip. Vargas lands two body shots and then stumbles into a right from Magsayo. Vargas hits an uppercut but tries to build off of it and is tagged by Magsayo. Vargas went for a shot and Magsayo had a short right counter that seemed to stumble Vargas.

Round 6: Vargas 10-9, 58-56

Magsayo finally is able to lunge in and lands a very heavy right directly to Vargas’ chin. Whenever Vargas connects with a body shot, Magsayo does a good job of countering with a right hook that looks effective. Vargas continues to work the body and it looks like Magsayo may be starting to feel them. The announcers think that Magsayo is looking tired and are attributing it to the body shots of Vargas.

Round 7: Vargas 10-9, 68-65

Vargas has a cut around his left eye and is bleeding from it. Magsayo goes for a shot but Vargas lands a heavy left. Vargas continues to lean onto that left body shot and is keeping his distance from Magsayo. The latter lands a right-left combo, but Vargas answers with a left of his own. Magsayo is trying to stay low to defend against body shots, but he is already at such a height differential it is tough for him to connect to Vargas’ head.

Round 8: Vargas 10-9, 78-74

Vargas knows that he is ahead and he is keeping more distance from Magsayo this round. Vargas lands an uppercut and another straight left as Magsayo is doing his best to try and lunge into a big shot. Vargas throws a left body shot and then a straight right combo that looked effective. Magsayo does land a right hook that has backed Vargas down.

Round 9: Magsayo 10-8, 84-86

By my count, Magsayo needs to win each of the remaining rounds to have a chance in this one. Vargas could get a lot more defensive and he isn’t known for knockouts anyway. Magsayo is looking for an opening, but Vargas is spacing his jabs perfectly disrupting his timing. The fighters exchange sharp jabs keeping this round close. Magsayo connects with a right and it looks like Vargas was going for a clinch, but ended up missing and going down. It isn’t ruled a slip and is for now considered a knockdown. Magsayo is all offense now trying to capitalize. The round ends with a Vargas slip.

Round 10: Magsayo 10-9, 94-95

Magsayo is all of a sudden back in this one and Vargas is back to his jab and put together a solid combo. Vargas threw a left to the body and Magsayo countered with a big right and is wobbly. He went partially down, but it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. Vargas needs to keep his distance and purely be defensive, but he continues to try to go at Magsayo. The fighters exchange blows as the round ends.

Round 11: Vargas 10-9, 105-103

The 11th round has been more of the same with Vargas trying to work off his jab and Magsayo looking for his opening. Vargas looks to be recovered from the end of the last round. Magsayo lands a big shot but then misses another and Vargas makes him pay by landing a few blows. This one was reminiscent of the first two rounds and really could’ve gone either way.

Round 12: Vargas 10-9, 115-112

Vargas is coming out aggressive and it could be to his detriment if he lunges into a right from Magsayo. Vargas is starting to dance away from him and Magsayo needs to get close to make one final push. Vargas lands more jabs as he is keeping Magsayo at bay. Any time Vargas gets on the ropes, he instantly tries to wrap up Magsayo to stop any forward momentum. 30 seconds to go and Vargas is purely defensive now running away from Magsayo. This one is going to the cards and I think Vargas has it.