Gary Russell Jr., Oscar Escandon Make Weight for WBC Title Fight

By Keith Idec

Unlike the first fight Showtime will televise Saturday, there weren’t weight issues at the scale Friday in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

All six boxers scheduled to participate in the final three fights of Showtime’s split-site quadrupleheader came in below the contracted limits for their fights Saturday night at MGM National Harbor.

Gary Russell Jr., the WBC featherweight champion, weighed in at 125½ pounds for his mandatory defense against Oscar Escandon. Colombia’s Escandon weighed 125¾ pounds, just beneath the 126-pound limit for the featherweight division.

russell-escandon (5)

Russell (27-1, 16 KOs) will end a 13-month layoff when he encounters Escandon near his hometown of Capitol Heights, Maryland. Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) will fight for the first time since he knocked out Mexico’s Robinson Castellanos (24-12, 14 KOs) in the seventh round 14 months ago to win the interim WBC featherweight championship in Washington, D.C.

Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui also made weight Friday for their 12-round fight for the interim IBF super middleweight championship.

Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, weighed 167½ pounds. Venezuela’s Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KOs) weighed in at a pound less than Dirrell (166½). 

Before Dirrell and Uzcategui got on the scale, Rances Barthelemy and Kiryl Relikh met their contractual obligations for a 12-round super lightweight bout. Cuba’s Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) weighed 139½ pounds, the same weight as Belarus’ Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs).

The weigh-in for the three aforementioned matches was nothing like the scene in London earlier Friday.

Gervonta Davis needed three trips to the scale to meet the 130-pound limit for the first defense of his IBF super featherweight championship against Liam Walsh. Baltimore’s Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) weighed exactly 130 pounds on his final attempt.

England’s Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs), Davis’ mandatory challenger, weighed 130 pounds on his first attempt Friday. Showtime will televise their scheduled 12-round fight Saturday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT from London’s Copper Box Arena, before shifting coverage to MGM National Harbor for the Barthelemy-Relikh, Dirrell-Uzcategui and Russell-Escandon fights.

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by richardt on 05-19-2017

GR needs to fight 5 times a year. Tons of talent but rarely seen.

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