Advertisement
Advertisement

Gary Russell: I Think My Hand Speed Will Be a Big Factor

World title challenger Gary Russell Jr believes experience will prove pivotal when he faces the talented Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO featherweight crown this weekend.

The pair are two of the hottest talents in the 126-pound division, having enjoyed glittering amateur careers, with both men now competing to capture their first world title when they do battle this Saturday night, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko has not taken the easy option since turning professional, with his first fight a victory over the skilled Jose Ramirez before a split decision loss in an historic bid for the world title against the hardened Orlando Salido.

With only two professional bouts under his belt, Russell Jr, who has built up a record of 24 fights with 24 wins before taking his first stab at a world title, believes that Lomachenko isn't prepared for what is coming his way at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

He said: "I feel like this is something I've worked for for so long. I think that it is destiny, and I believe that some people who haven't, they're about ready to find out.

"My team and I had a game plan when turning professional. You see these guys before that have been stellar amateurs and can't make the necessary adjustments as professionals.

"We wanted to get the rounds in; we wanted to learn the ins and outs as a professional before we competed for a world title. We had a minor hiccup here and there, but other than that we stayed on course and we're right on track.

"This is an occupation, this is what we do, and it's something that I excel at. You know I can't wait."

The Washington DC born star has taken some flak in recent times about the level of competition he has faced but he insists those fights will be to his benefit as he challenges for the world title.

“There's going to be criticism [no matter what]. My dad told me you could never please everybody. You know we wanted to get to maybe 23-0, you know 22, 23-0 before we competed for a world title,” said Russell Jr.

"One of the reasons why is based on the fact that you can be an elite amateur, but when you become a professional it's a completely different world.

"You're not going the full rounds, you know you're going 10, 12 hard rounds with guys that are putting in that extra work, and this is the only way that you can gain experience by getting these rounds in. We don't want to take things like that for granted by not getting the rounds in."

The 26-year-old southpaw was named the 2011 Ring Magazine ‘Prospect of the Year’ but will now go in against a fighter in Lomachenko who is being fast tracked to the top.

However, Russell Jr is adamant that despite the buzz around the Ukrainian his is a style that cannot be imitated, which will prove to the detriment of Lomachenko when they share the ring.

He said: "I think my hand speed will definitely be a big factor. I understand you could probably bring guys in to kind of mimic my style, but if they have the hand speed they don't have the punching ability, and if they have my punching ability they don't have my hand speed.

“There's no way possible for them to duplicate what it is that I'm going to bring to the table on June 21.”

The gifted Lomachenko though has questioned the level of competition Russell Jr has stepped in with so far, believing that the men he has gone up against in his two professional bouts have been of a higher calibre than anyone the American has faced so far.

"I haven’t see all the fights, and I didn't see all his opponents, but as far as I saw I can probably compare a few guys who were close to Jose Ramirez, but I've never seen any of them being as far as Salido," said Lomachenko.

The 26-year-old ace is grateful for his second shot at a world title and believes he has learned from his initial challenge earlier this year with the Mexican Salido, who was stripped of his chance of winning the vacant WBO title at the time after failing to make weight.

"I learned how to adjust to professional boxing, because I've never been in the ring so much. But I think just fighting the 12 rounds with Orlando Salido I got to experience more than if I would be fighting just regular level guys for two years," Lomachenko stated.

"I'm not looking at it like a ladder, like I'm stepping up or stepping down. I just have another chance to fight for the title, and you know this is my dream and desire is to get one and I have a chance and I'm going to take it.

"After the Salido fight I didn't know who it was going to be, Gary Russell or somebody else. I didn't care, I just said make me the fight for the title," said Lomachenko.

This Saturday night’s card also sees the return of Robert Guerrero who headlines against Yoshihiro Kamegai, with the tricky Devon Alexander back in action against Jesus Soto Karass.

Earlier that evening on BoxNation Martin Murray challenges for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title when he takes on Max Bursak in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Russell Jr. vs Lomachenko is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Saturday night. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Bushbaby on 06-22-2014

Uh huh, sure guy.

Comment by 33030 on 06-19-2014

Russell has the fastest hands in boxing. Yes, even faster than Amir Khan. Plus Im a little biased b/c Russell and I have the same name. His last name is my first name.... LOL

Comment by _original_ on 06-19-2014

I wouldn't bet on it, but I think that Lomachenko is going to make a big statement.

Comment by IIG on 06-19-2014

This is a 50/50 fight on paper, and I certainly wouldn't bet on it, but I think Lomachenko will take it. Russell has great handspeed, but who is to say what else he has since he's fought nobody. He's gone…

Comment by WesleySnipes on 06-19-2014

Im so hyped up for this fight, rooting for Russel, loving Lomachenko though but im not with this "getting title fight in his 3rd for the same title he fought & lost the fight before"-stuff, Arum needs to learn his…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (36)
Top Headlines De La Hoya: Canelo a 154-Pounder, Golovkin Fight in 2017 Ryabinsky: WADA Has Ruled, Certified Povetkin as Clean Golovkin vs. Eubank: Hearn Gives Update on Finalizing Terms Oscar Negrete Wants a Title Shot After Bustos Fight Sammy Vasquez To Face Felix Diaz, Collazo is Out With Injury Anthony Joshua is a 4/1 Favorite To Win BBC SPOTY Award Photos: Andre Ward Throws Ceremonial First Pitch in Oakland Photos: Jamel Herring vs. Denis Shafikov Open Workouts Photos: Mikaela Lauren, Klara Svensson Go Face To Face Zac Dunn Stops Carlos Jerez In Five, Remains Unbeaten Promoter: David Benavidez Will Become Youngest 168 Champ Daniel Jacobs Rips Mora, Says Billy Joe Saunders Rejected Fight Golovkin Focuses on Middleweight Legacy, Canelo in Rearview Frank Warren: Wilder, Fury Would Outwork, Outfight Joshua Hearn: After Watching Thurman-Porter - I Know Brook is Better! Joshua Gormley To Face Andy Ruiz on July 16, Detroit Anthony Joshua's Fall Options: Stiverne, Jennings, Pulev, Parker Keith Thurman Very Interested in Facing Kell Brook in The Fall Wilder Embraces VADA, Feels Drug Testing Should Be Year-Round Margarito: Canelo Will Not Be Able To Help His Brother! Golovkin's Promoter: Eubank in The UK Would Be Huge Event Luis Rosa vs. Luis Hinojosa Ends in First Round No-Contest Peter Quillin Mulling New Direction, Move To Super Middleweight Ricky Burns, Kirill Relikh Have 30 Days To Reach a Deal Soto-Karass vs. Kamegai II Eyed For Canelo vs. Smith PPV Telemundo Weights From Mexico City: Ruiz 130, Diaz 129 Jezreel Corrales-Jason Sosa Ordered To Collide By The WBA James Kirkland in Training, Reunites With Ann Wolfe Canelo Back on 'Regular' HBO? - Door is Open For December Rau'Shee Warren vs. Jamie McDonnell Ordered By The WBA Jose Felix Jr. Returns on August 27 on Marriaga vs. Robb Card Thurman-Porter Final Ratings: 3.1 Million Viewers, Highest of '16 Erkan Teper, Despite Suspension, Returns To Face Rossy Deontay Wilder, Chris Arreola Take Part in VADA Testing Jarrell Miller vs. Fred Kassi on August 19th, Showtime Ogogo To Eubank Jr: After Golovkin Bashes You Up - I'll Be Ready! Sergio Martinez: Canelo Made Smart Business Move With GGG Nick Blackwell Blown Away By David Haye's Generous Donation Miguel Marriaga vs. Guy Robb WBO Eliminator on August 27th DiBella Thinks Female Pro Boxing Hits Major U.S. TV in 2016
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement