Gary Russell Jr. is preparing for one other title protection, and he’s gunning for one other knockout.
Owner of maybe the quickest arms in boxing, Russell will defend his WBC featherweight title in opposition to Joseph Diaz Jr. on May 19 on the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The 126-pound title tilt is one half of a Showtime split-site telcast (Adonis Stevenson places his gentle heavyweight title on the road in opposition to Badou Jack in the principle occasion from Montreal.) Russell (28-1, 17 knockouts) has been inactive, preventing simply 4 instances in the identical span Diaz competed 16 instances, however THE RING’s No. 2 featherweight isn’t involved.
“I don’t see this being a long night,” mentioned Russell, 29. “If he will get reckless, it would finish early. I don’t plan on going the gap with anybody I step in the ring with. I do know he’s in for a rude awakening.
“I don’t feel as though he has the punching power, the hand speed or the ring IQ to do anything to me. At the end of the day he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell, Jr.”
It’s one other homecoming for Russell, who hails from close by Capitol Heights, Maryland. His final fight, a seventh-round stoppage of Oscar Escandon, occurred on the MGM about a 12 months to the date of his subsequent bout. Diaz (26-Zero, 14 KOs) figures to current a extra formidable problem, although. The Olympian has steadily improved, and he’s a totally different class of fighter than Escandon, even when Russell will probably be a determined favourite.
“It will be an early birthday gift for my Dad,” Russell mentioned. “Last 12 months I fought on his birthday, May 20. That’s fairly cool. I really like preventing on the MGM. I really like the comfort.
“I love that all my friends and fans, and the people who honk at me from their cars when I’m running can hop in their cars rather get on a plane to come and see me fight.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger
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