By Luis Sandoval
Gary Russell Jr is coming off a spectacular 3rd round knockout over Robert Castaneda as he once again dazzled us with his speed and power. While Russell has been producing some highlight reel knockouts in his last couple fights, many are starting to wonder when the 2008 Olympian will step into the ring and put his skills to the test against a big name opponent.
BoxingScene ran a story when I spoke with Russell after his fight with Castaneda where he said he would like a shot at current WBC Featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2013. It’s a fight Russell reiterated wanting when he was on BoxingScene’s official radio show The Boxing Lab and even said De Leon is tailored made for him.
“I see me getting a few more fights in and actually trying to go for one of these major titles. Ponce De Leon is one of the guys with the titles. I feel as though he is tailor made for me. His style is perfect for [me]. He would make my job a lot easier based on the fact of his style. I'm ready” said Russell.
While Russell would like to take on Ponce De Leon, he is also open to take on the other big names in the Featherweight division. If a De Leon fight isn’t available, there are definitely other names Russell would look at.
“I would definitely love to [fight] Juan Manuel Lopez. But I also know he just came back off his suspension so I would actually want for him to get 2 or 3 tune up fights before he competes against me because if he fights me and I beat him convincingly and easily like I've been doing everyone else, that would give him a little bit of an excuse of why I beat him the way that I would because of his inactivity. So I would want him to get in the ring and get his rhythm back before he steps in the ring and fights me because I don't want any excuses” Russell would tell The Boxing Lab.
While many fans are anxious to see Russell step up and fight a champion, he understands things can’t be rushed and need to take their time. A couple more fights in and Russell will look for his title shot mid to late 2013. But make no mistake about it, Russell feels he’s already ready to fight the best and feels he’d be effective against all of them.
“I'm 100% comfortable and content. I feel as though that the talent that I possess and what I bring to the ring against any of those guys who are supposed to be the top name guys, the Yuriorkis Gamboas, the Ponce De Leons, and Chris John and etc. my style I feel as though would be very effective against these guys. So I'm 100% confident I'm ready” said the former 2008 Olympian.
Russell hasn’t been as active in 2012 having only fought twice as he was plagued by both injuries and fights falling apart at the last minute. He hopes to make 2013 a big year and from the looks of it, fans will finally get to see Russell in the ring with a top name Featherweight.
You can listen to Russell’s interview in its entirety by listening to The Boxing Lab podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/boxinglab/2012/11/14/the-boxing-lab-boxingscenes-official-audio-show
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.