Gary Russell: I Want To Unify Next or Move Up in Weight

WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell looking for more gold after Saturday's win over mandatory challenger Joseph Diaz in their twelve round battle at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Despite sustaining an early hand injury, Russell (29-1) outlasted Diaz (26-1), taking a 117-111 victory on two scorecards and a 115-113 win on the third.

Whether it's the 29-year-old's last defense at this weight remains to be seen.

gary-russell (41)

Diaz came on during moments in the fight with some harsh looking body shots, but Russell was not affected by any of the blows and seemed to continue forward with a solid workrate for the full twelve rounds.

Diaz, an undefeated former US Olympian, was unable to change the tide - as Russell kept a very tight defense, threw a very high volume of jabs and put together solid power punching combinations.

However, Russell was not happy with going the full distance, but suffered a hand injury early in the fight.

"We train to survive those body shots," said Russell. "We put the work in every day in the ring. We consistently grind and push ourselves to be great and we push ourselves to the limit.
"I was disappointed in my performance because I wasn't planning on going the distance. I hurt the right hand, but I still had to use it, because he could not get past my jab."

Russell, who captured the WBC title in March 2015 with a knockout of Jhonny Gonzalez, is now looking to unify with IBF champion Josh Warrington or the upcoming rematch between WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz and challenger Abner Mares.

After averaging only a single fight a year, Russell is hoping to be more active by returning to the ring before the year is out.

"We want a unification," said Russell. "We want to unify this division, or we're moving up in weight for another title. I want another belt."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by AdonisCreed on 05-21-2018

Unifying is great!! But let's be serious here I think it would be awesome if he even fights again this year!!!! :-|

Comment by deanrw on 05-21-2018

Gary is in a tough position. He kinda has a "Midget" physique. Short arms and legs, long torso and big head. He is a small 126 pound guy but since he has a long torso, he struggles making weight. 130…

Comment by j.razor on 05-21-2018

WTF! Gary is too small for his own weight class now!

Comment by jackblack008 on 05-21-2018

Tank vs Garry. bring it on. don't know if they are on same network?

Comment by FrankieClutch on 05-21-2018

He's pretty small for this weight, let alone moving up. Let's just focus on fighting more than once a year, Gary lol

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