Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz Headed to Stevenson-Jack Card

By Keith Idec

A pair of American Olympians are headed to Canada for their featherweight title fight.

Joseph Diaz Jr. confirmed in a Tweet sent out Tuesday night that his WBC-mandated title shot against its 126-pound champion, Gary Russell Jr., has been scheduled for May 19 in Montreal. Showtime will televise Russell-Diaz as part of a two-bout broadcast headlined by WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs), who’ll defend his 175-pound championship against Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs).

Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez revealed Friday that he came to a verbal agreement with promoter Tom Brown, who represented Russell in negotiations on behalf of adviser Al Haymon, which avoided a purse bid. Golden Boy promotes Diaz.


Gomez mentioned May 19 as one of the possible dates for the Russell-Diaz fight to, which first reported Tuesday night that Russell-Diaz would be part of the Stevenson-Jack card.

Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza initially planned to televise a split-site doubleheader May 19. In addition to the Stevenson-Jack broadcast from Montreal, Showtime’s offering would’ve included a fight featuring WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The unbeaten Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) hadn’t secured an opponent for what was supposed to be a tune-up fight following more than a one-year layoff, largely caused by elbow surgery in April 2017. Thurman reportedly suffered a hand injury during training recently and the Barclays Center card was canceled.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Russell (28-1, 17 KOs) will end a one-year layoff when he defends his title against the undefeated Diaz.

The Capitol Heights, Maryland, native has fought just twice since he stopped Mexico’s Jhonny Gonzalez (65-10, 54 KOs) in the fourth round to win the WBC 126-pound championship in March 2015. Russell, a 2008 Olympian, hasn’t fought since May 20, when he beat Colombia’s Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs) by seventh-round technical knockout to make the second defense of his title.

The 25-year-old Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Downey, California, most recently knocked out Mexican veteran Victor Terrazas (38-5-2, 21 KOs) in the third round February 22 in Indio, California.

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 DuckAdonis on 04-11-2018

Damn good fight !

Comment by Cigar on 04-11-2018

Great co-main event! Much better than the crappy undercard just announced for Loma - Linares.

Comment by nycsmooth on 04-11-2018

excellent semi-final but you have to go with Russell for his experience even with the inactivity..

Comment by JohnP2 on 04-11-2018

[QUOTE=Superbee;18660137]Might as well be Alvarez - Stevenson ... Alvarez team is throwing the veto on the Stevenson-Jack fight unless they have a written guaranty from the WBC they will be next and will have another substantial step-aside (1M) as well…

Comment by IMDAZED on 04-11-2018

[QUOTE=Bronx2245;18660569]Showtime is the boxing network of 2018, followed by ESPN, and lastly HBO! Showtime produces quality "cards," where others give us quality "fights!"[/QUOTE] They’ve been doing this for years now.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (11)
Top Headlines Photos: Luis Ortiz Putting in Work For Travis Kauffman Fight Photos: Jarrett Hurd Grinding Hard For Jason Welborn Bout Euro News: Tyron Zeuge, Mikhalkin vs. Boesel, More Hooker: An Old Midget Hurt Saucedo; Being Tough Won't Be Enough Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury To Be Carried in Movie Theaters Joe Joyce Welcomes Ordered Clash With Hughie Fury Fury: At Some Point, I'll Have To Stand and Fight With Wilder Photos: Roman Gonzalez Putting in Work For Guevara Clash Fury: Joyce Sparring Had Nothing To Do With Training Camp Move Canelo vs. Rocky Fielding - Undercard Details Revealed Michael Conlan vs. Jason Cunningham on Warrington-Frampton Anthony Yarde is Pumped To Land Spot on Wilder-Fury Card Daniel Dubois, Bradley Skeete, Bowen Back on December 15 Wilder Co-Trainer: Fury Like Rubik's Cube, But He Can Be Solved Haye: Usyk Can't Get Hit Like That By Joshua; He Has Work To Do Porter: Errol Spence is Getting More Yards - And I Don't Like It! Photos: Hooker, Saucedo - Go To War in Sparring in 2012 Tyson Fury on The Therapeutic Value of Training Warrington: Something Tells Me Frampton is Not The Same Guy Horn Realizes That He Must Be Dominate Mundine To Impress Mikey Garcia Ready: I Have Everything To Beat Errol Spence! Hearn: Jarrell Miller vs. Whyte or Chisora Possible in Early 2019 Felix Verdejo's Next Bout Eyed For United States in Early 2019 The Other Half of Junior Welterweight Fury: If I Fought Wilder In Manchester, We'd Sell 75,000 Tickets Photos: Claressa Shields, Nico Hernandez - Open Workouts Photos: Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias - Shows Off Moves at Workouts Photos: Brandon Rios, Ramon Alvarez - Grind at Workouts Photos: Jarrell Miller, Bogdan Dinu - Putting in Work in Kansas AIBA Prez Says They Are 100% Compliant With Anti-Doping Rules Peterson Quickly Agreed To Face Lipinets: I'll Fight Anyone! Photos: Maurice Hooker, Alex Saucedo - Go Face To Face Fury: Roach Can Do Whatever He Wants In Corner On Fight Night Ladarius Miller vs. Ricardo Garcia Tops Mayweather Card, 12/7 Uzcategui: No KO - I Want To Give Plant The Beating of His Life! Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Non-TV Undercard Information Porter: WBC Mandatory Orders Derailed Immediate Spence Bout Kerman Lejarraga vs. Frankie Gavin is Picked Up By ESPN+ Lopez Confident He Can Give Thurman a Run For His Money Arias Vows To Beat Down and Bloody Rosado For "Bitch" Claim

Latest Active Forum Threads