By Edward Chaykovsky
This coming Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, undefeated yet untested Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KOs) will go against perhaps the most prolific amateur boxer of all-time, Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1, 1 KO), of Ukraine, in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBO Featherweight World Championship. The fight will be showcased as the co-featured attraction of a Showtime televised tripleheader.
"It's actually a little funny standing here getting ready to compete for a world title based on the fact that I was never a fighter that said I wanted to be a world champion until I was on the U.S. Olympic team," Russell said.
"I was one of the favorites to medal (in the Olympics) and to not be able to compete was devastating. The only way that I could make it up to my fans and family was to become a world champion, plain and simple.
"In this situation I get the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. My competitor fought in the Olympics and I can also become a world champion on this card. I can become a world champion on Saturday as well as beating an Olympian. It's the best of both worlds.''