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Gary Russell Jr: I Want Unification Next - Line Them All Up!

US southpaw Gary Russell defends his World Boxing Council featherweight crown Saturday against Colombia's Oscar Escandon but is looking at rival champions Lee Selby of Britain and Leo Santa Cruz.

Russell, 27-1 with 16 knockouts, enters the ring before a hometown crowd in suburban Washington after taking the title by stopping Mexico's Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015 and retaining it in April 2016 by stopping Mexico's Patrick Hyland.

But also on his mind is trying to unify titles against one of his major rival champions, such as Mexico's Santa Cruz, 33-1-1 with 18 knockouts, or Welshman Selby, 24-1 with nine knockouts and on a 20-fight win streak.

russell-escandon (12)

"I want a unification bout after this," Russell said. "I'm ready for any of the other world champions. We can line them all up in the same night if you want."

Otherwise, Russell said, he will jump from the 126-pound division to super featherweight.

"If I can't get those fights, I'm going to move up in weight and bully around these bigger guys," Russell said.

Goals set, Russell said he is totally focused upon taking care of Escandon first, especially with family and friends watching from ringside.

"When you get caught up in the hype, it's a deficiency in yourself. You have to be able to focus on the objective over everything else," Russell said. "I'm 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenge and I'm on top of everything I can be."

Escandon, 25-2 with 17 knockouts, had dropped two of four fights before knocking out Mexico's Robinson Castellanos in March of last year in his most recent start to earn his first world title chance at age 32.

"He's a tough fighter who comes forward," Russell said. "He's very physical and I expect him to be at his best. It's up to me to counteract what he does."

Escandon plans to spoil Russell's unification ideas.

"I'm taking this title back to Colombia," Escandon said. "This is going to elevate me and give me the platform to do anything in the sport. I'm very well prepared for this.

"In my last fight I was the underdog. People counted me out. Same thing applies here. I've done the work and I'm confident I'm going to win."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TheUptownKid on 05-19-2017

Russell is championship caliber but champs don't wanna fight him. He has easily the most electrifying ko's in the division but doesn't get the benefit of fighting big names, he's like a championship gate keeper Leo, mares, selby nor frampton…

Comment by angkag on 05-19-2017

Not sure what to think about Russell any more. He got outboxed by Loma, but he showed some class and grit in there at the time, plus looked good against Gonzalez, but his inactivity has got to be stunting his…

Comment by BigStomps on 05-19-2017

This fvcking clown wants to unify titles.... Somebody needs to tell this punk that in order to unify titles you have to fight for the titles. This punk fights once a year and he's talking about unifying titles... Every champion…

Comment by Corelone on 05-19-2017

He has skills, but he wasting time. He should have stayed busy. His brand is suffering.

Comment by TheCell8 on 05-19-2017

[QUOTE=kushking;17681812]Sometimes its not the fighters fault,they have no following & hes at a low weight not much $$ in for a guy from Washington who's black. Im not saying thats the case here but rather that it in itself is…

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