By Luis Sandoval
Former 2008 US Olympian and now Featherweight contender Gary Russell Jr will be fighting for his first world title this Saturday night against one the highest regarded amateur fighters in Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko was unsuccessful in his first title fight earlier this year when he lost to Orlando Salido in only his 2nd professional fight. He will get another opportunity to become a champion but Russell believes he will suffer the same fate as he feels there is nothing Lomachenko can do to win this fight.
“Overall he’s not a volume puncher. He tries to be a little more accurate which makes it a lot easier for a fighter like him to be outworked in the fight. I don’t think even on the outside, even if he tried to outbox me he doesn’t have the hand speed that it takes to stay on the outside. If he was to try to make it a tough fight, he definitely don’t want to do that or you’ll see a side of Mr. Gary Russell Jr that a lot of people haven’t seen,” declared the undefeated 26 year old Russell.
Lomachenko’s admitted he tried to pace himself in the Salido fight in which he really didn’t get going until the second half of the fight. He plans to be more aggressive and busier against Russell but Russell feels if Lomachenko’s tries to press the action, the fight won’t go the distance.
“If he gets a little too rambunctious, a little too anxious, then I can see this fight ending early. I can see it ending if he tries to take the initiative. I think fight will end real soon. I honestly don’t see it going 12, but if it does [it will be] a unanimous decision."
Russell plans to put his hand speed on display Saturday night and is confident he will walk away a world champion. During his media day, Russell hit the mitts with 20oz gloves that looked massive for his frame but even with the bigger gloves, his hand speed was still lighting fast.
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