OXON HILL, MD – MAY 19: Gary Russell Jr. looks on before the WBC featherweight title bout at MGM … [+]
Saturday night’s boxing schedule is highlighted by the return of the talented, but only semi-active WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr.
Russell Jr’s bout, which also features a co-main event pitting Guillermo Rigondeaux against Liborio Solis for a vacant secondary WBA bantamweight title will be broadcast on Showtime, and streamed on the cable network’s app.
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar on Showtime at 9 pm ET
Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KO) will defend his title against undefeated, former Mongolian Olympian “King Tug” Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0, 9 KO) on Saturday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Russell last fought in May 2019 when he scored a TKO victory over veteran Kiko Martinez. The layoff isn’t out of the ordinary for Russell who has fought just once per year since 2015.
He has been seemingly chasing a fight with Leo Santa Cruz for years, but the bout hasn’t been made. With a fight taking place in the first quarter of the year, it is feasible Russell could fight as many as three times in 2020–if he’s willing.
Russell possesses arguably the fastest hands in boxing, excellence defense and accuracy, but his infrequent visits to the ring have him flying under the radar.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 26: Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia reacts after defeating Claudio … [+]
While some may not be familiar with Nyambayar, I assure you, he is a worthy challenger. Russell spoke highly of him. “King Tug is a very, very solid fighter, he’s well-rounded, a 2012 Olympian, he has everything to gain and nothing to lose,” Russell said. “He’s tough, he’s strong and I think he’s going to bring his physical best to the ring on that night.”
Nyambayar only has 11 professional fights, but he has nine KOs in those fights. Like Russell, it has been a while since competed. Nyambayar hasn’t fought since January 2019 when he scored a unanimous-decision victory over Claudio Marrero.
Fans should expect a competitive fight. According to OddsShark, Russell is a -323 favorite. I’ll be covering the fight and will have the results and analysis afterward.