Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz - The Ball is Already Rolling

By Steve Kim

Featherweight contender Joseph Diaz (25-0, 13 KO's) kicks off his 2018 by facing veteran, Victor Terrazas (38-4-2/21 KO's), on Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.

Should Diaz come out victorious, he will be in line to face WBC titlist Gary Russell Jr. next. Diaz is rated number one by the WBC.

"Absolutely, the WBC already ordered it," said Robert Diaz, the matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, which handles the career of Diaz. "Gary was going to do an interim fight before their team decided not to do an interim fight, so knock on wood everything comes out well, Joseph wins, no injuries, no nothing. Eric(Gomez, president of GBP) already began discussions. So the ball's rolling."


When asked if May or June would be a realistic time frame for a potential Russell-Diaz fight, the matchmaker told - "I'm assuming [it should work for] Gary on his side since he's not fighting in the interim, is ready to go and probably in the gym training. Depending on how Joseph comes out, yes that's realistic."

Russell (28-1, 17KO's), who won his title in 2015, last fought in May where he stopped Oscar Escandon in seven rounds.

The once-beaten boxer, who suffered his only career defeat by way of decision at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko in 2014, has only made two defenses of his title since capturing the belt with a quick knockout of Jhonny Gonzalez.

After winning the belt, Russell returned more than a year later and blew away Patrick Hyland Jr. in two rounds. Then he was ordered to make a mandatory defense against Escandon, which also took more than a year to come together.

Russell, who is only 29 years old, does not appear to be bothered by the low level of activity of a yearly basis.

Steve Kim is the news editor for

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by bigdunny1 on 02-21-2018

I got to feel bad for JoJo he ended 2016 top 10 ranked by everybody and high ranked by all the paper belt orgs. He spent the entire 2017 as the #1 ranked by the WBO but they will never…

Comment by yngwie on 02-20-2018

[QUOTE=anonymous2.0;18501538]The way Gary talks about boxing makes you think he doesn't even like boxing. I think he sees it as a means to an end, of where he can make enough money to comfortably live out the rest of his…

Comment by DuckAdonis on 02-20-2018

This fight needs to happen next. Russel is not an active champ...he needs to fight more or give up his belt

Comment by nycsmooth on 02-20-2018

Diaz has been nursed along pretty well and I don't think he has even begun to touch the caliber of Fighters Russell has fought and I would look for Russell to beat in late into the fight...

Comment by Ajvar on 02-20-2018

Gary: Interim fight? I want to fight Dias before I become 40 so no interim fight!

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