Gary Russell Jr: No Hand Damage, Sore Shoulder

By Ryan Maquiñana

Aside from a sore shoulder, Gary Russell Jr. served notice to the elite featherweights in the world last night with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over heavy-handed Leonilo Miranda at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

“His hands were O.K. this time,” Gary Russell Sr., the fighter’s trainer and father, told as he boarded a flight back to the Beltway.  “His right shoulder was a little sore, but it should get a little bit better when we get home.”

Russell (18-0, 10 KOs), from Capitol Heights, Md., was hoping to build off a dazzling shutout performance on the Khan-Judah undercard in July against Eric Estrada when he effortlessly reeled off 10 and 12-punch combinations despite injuring his left hand in the first round.

He surely accomplished that endeavor even when Miranda (32-3, 30 KOs) played peekaboo with the top rope to unsuccessfully blunt Russell’s momentum.

“None whatsoever,” Russell Sr. said when asked about any issues he had with his son’s performance.  “Well, there was that one point when [Miranda] went in the ropes and Gary should’ve jumped on him.  It was an old veteran trick.  Overall though he did what he had to do to win.”

With Russell’s adviser Al Haymon enjoying considerable influence on HBO (the fact that they uncharacteristically approved an eight-rounder here is an example), it’s only a matter of time until we see the ultra-talented 126-pounder in with a top 10 opponent.  For now, however, his father wants to stay even-keeled.

“We’ll take our time and see what HBO and Al have to say,” Russell Sr. said.  “It’s up to them, but we feel blessed.  It was a good win, and my son’s getting better with each fight.”

Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.  He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring’s Ratings Advisory Panel.  E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by nycsmooth on 09-05-2011

FMJr normally uses Graant, more padding the way it's sewn, but Reyes are the best, but w/a bad hand Grant a better choice...

Comment by youngmoney007 on 09-05-2011

He has a good hand wrapper, now he just needs a good glove like Mayweather wears, damn he looked like he had 16 oz training gloves on!

Comment by Kagami Taiga on 09-04-2011

[QUOTE=ThePhantom5;11083142]He should get Floyd's hand-wrap guy.[/QUOTE] he supposedly has an expert handwrap guy. but once u develop hand problems, they typically never go away. so he'll proly have no real power for the rest of his career but thats not…

Comment by Evil Abed on 09-04-2011

[QUOTE=bojangles1987;11083004]He has a ton of talent and skill, hopefully he doesn't have serious hand problems that keep him from putting it together. They wouldn't shut up about it late in the fight, clearly its a concern.[/QUOTE] He should get Floyd's…

Comment by bojangles1987 on 09-04-2011

He has a ton of talent and skill, hopefully he doesn't have serious hand problems that keep him from putting it together. They wouldn't shut up about it late in the fight, clearly its a concern.

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