World Boxing Council featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. expects to have an early night when he faces undefeated mandatory challenger Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr.
Their fight was finalized last week for Saturday, May 19, from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Both fighters are past members of the United States Olympic team. Russell was part of the team in 2008 and Diaz was a member in 2012.
Russell (28-1, 17 KOs), 29-years-old, will have the hometown crowd in his corner.
He's been out of the ring since scoring a knockout over Oscar Escondon at the same venue on May 20.
Russell is not worried about the one year layoff. He is often training and helping out his two undefeated brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne - who are both scheduled for fights on the undercard.
He believes his speed, power and accuracy will be too much for Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs) to handle.
"I don't see this being a long night," said Russell.
"If he gets reckless, it might end early. I don't plan on going the distance with anyone I step in the ring with. He's in for a rude awakening. I don't feel as though he has the punching power, the hand speed or the ring IQ to do anything to me. At the end of the day he'll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell, Jr.
"It will be an early birthday gift for my Dad. Last year I fought on his birthday, May 20. That's pretty cool. I love fighting at the MGM. I love the convenience. I love that all my friends and fans being there. And the people who honk at me from their cars when I'm running can hop in their cars rather than get on a plane to come and see me fight."
Diaz was in action back in February when he blew out former world champion Victor Terrazas in three rounds.