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Escandon Injured; Russell Fight, 3/11 Showtime Card Postponed

By Keith Idec

Gary Russell Jr. will have to wait a little longer to fight again.

The WBC world featherweight champion’s lengthy layoff, already approaching a year, was extended Tuesday because the opponent he was supposed to meet March 11, Oscar Escandon, has suffered a back injury. Escandon’s injury caused the entire card to be postponed.

The Russell-Escandon fight was set to headline the first boxing card at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, a new casino resort just outside Washington, D.C. Russell (27-1, 16 KOs) is from nearby Capitol Heights, Maryland.

gary-russell-jr (1)_1

Russell-Escandon also was supposed to be the main event of a Showtime doubleheader that night. Houston’s Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) was set to make a mandatory defense of his WBC world super welterweight title against Dallas’ Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) in the co-featured fight that night.

Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager for Showtime Sports, told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he intends for the network to televise the doubleheader at a later date. The new date, according to Espinoza, will depend upon how long it takes Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) to recover from the back injury he suffered a couple weeks ago in training camp.

 Russell, a talented 2008 Olympian, hasn’t fought since he stopped Ireland’s Patrick Hyland (31-3, 15 KOs) in the second round of their title fight April 16 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The southpaw’s easy victory over Hyland has been his only fight since Russell knocked out Mexico’s Jhonny Gonzalez (62-10, 52 KOs) in the fourth round to win the WBC 126-pound championship in March 2015 in Las Vegas.

The 28-year-old Russell first was supposed to encounter Escandon in November 2015, but Russell suffered a cut during sparring and their fight was canceled.

Colombia’s Escandon also has been plagued by inactivity. He has fought just once since losing a split decision to Mexico’s Moises Flores (25-0, 17 KOs, 1 NC) in April 2015.

Escandon won the WBC interim featherweight title in that bout by knocking out Mexico’s Robinson Castellanos (23-12, 13 KOs) in the seventh round last March 5 in Washington, D.C.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ShoulderRoll on 03-01-2017

[QUOTE=Rip Chudd;17462731]:lol1: Yeah Russell could use another fight with TBA[/QUOTE] This time it wouldn't be his fault at least. And the other fights on the card could still go on.

Comment by Rip Chudd on 03-01-2017

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;17461976]If Escandon can't go then get someone else who's willing to fight for a title on short notice. Instead of cancelling the entire card.[/QUOTE] :lol1: Yeah Russell could use another fight with TBA

Comment by Bronx2245 on 03-01-2017

That sucks! First GRJ is injured and now Escandon! Starting to look like Thurman vs. Porter, taking 4ever!

Comment by GMAN SUPREME on 02-28-2017

[QUOTE=Corelone;17461257]Russell will be grey the next time we see him. He's a boxing hermit, the old hobbit on the mountain. I expect a do or die, Khan/Brook move soon, he has to get paid before his speed fails him. Or…

Comment by GMAN SUPREME on 02-28-2017

lol cant they just get a tba for russell to fight? russell has been fighting them his whole career.HBO will be happy, they got the date all to themselves now stevens vs lemeiux with gamboa on the undercard.

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