A matter of quantity over accuracy in a pulsating title fight, for while the final numbers were close in terms of connects (199-192 overall), Gary Russell's output trumped Joseph Diaz's accuracy as Russell threw a personal best 992 total punches (with the previous high being 845 vs. Christopher Martin) as well as a personal best in terms of throwing the most jabs (587 jabs, superseding his previous high of 510 vs. Gusev).
Diaz's 192 total punches landed and 151 power shots landed were the most by a Russell opponent in 17 of his fights tracked by CompuBox.
Lomachenko landed 183 punches in his win over Russell. 88 of Diaz's 192 landed punches (46%) were body shots. (CompuBox avg.: 23.3%) Russell also was the better finisher as he out-landed Diaz 93-64 in rounds 7-11. Scoring: 115-113, 117-111 twice.
Gary Russell Jr. and Joseph Diaz didn't dare raise their arms in victory after their 12-round title bout.
It was only when the words "unanimous decision" came over the MGM National Harbor PA that Russell pounded his chest, finally knowing he had completed a difficult third defense of his WBC featherweight title.
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. On Thursday, Russell said he could move as high as 140 pounds if he can't make a featherweight unification bout next.
Earlier Saturday in England, Josh Warrington beat Lee Selby by split decision to become IBF 126-pound champion.
Diaz also appeared to know he had been second best over the 12 rounds, despite some promising early moments in his first professional title bout. He and his camp clapped the decision after it was announced.