By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – A couple hours before he defended his WBC featherweight title Saturday night, Gary Russell worked his younger brother’s corner.
Once that fight ended, the unbeaten champion seemed pretty pleased with how Gary Antuanne Russell performed against an opponent that was considered a slight step up in competition. The younger Russell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, knocked down Nicaragua’s Marcos Mojica twice and stopped him in the fourth round on the Deontay Wilder-Dominic Breazeale undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Mojica couldn’t get up from the second knockdown, caused by Russell’s hard left hand to the body. Their scheduled eight-round, junior welterweight fight was stopped at 2:13 of the fourth round.
The undefeated Russell, a 22-year-old southpaw from Capitol Heights, Maryland, has knocked out all nine of his professional opponents. Mojica, 34, fell to 16-4-2 (12 KOs) and lost by knockout for the third time.
After watching the second of his brothers win by TKO on Saturday night, Gary Russell Jr. headed back to his dressing room to start warming up for his defense of the WBC 126-pound championship.
The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs) is set to face Spain’s Kiko Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) in the second of three fights Showtime will televise Saturday night. The telecast is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In the main event, Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will make a mandatory defense of his WBC heavyweight title against Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs). The telecast will begin with a 10-round bout between junior welterweight prospect Juan Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, and Argenis Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Yonkers, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.