Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz - LIVE Results From Maryland

By Cliff Rold

MGM National Harbor, Maryland - The last bout prior to the televised main event featured a young super middleweight looking to rebound from his first career defeat.

24-year old Immanuwel Aleem (18-1-1, 11 KO), 163 ½, of Richmond, Virginia, scored a knockdown and otherwise controlled 30-year old Juan Carlos De Angel (20-9-1, 18 KO), 169 ¼, of Barranquilla, Colombia throughout of their scheduled ten-round contest. The bout was fought at a largely measured pace with De Angel complaining strongly in spots about rabbit punching. Referee Bill Clancy admonished the fighter and his corner for turning his head. At the start of the seventh, De Angel opted not to continue having won few seconds of the contest. It was De Angel’s fourth stoppage loss while Aleem moved on from a third round knockout loss to Hugo Centeno last August.

Entering to the classic sound of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Keep Your Hands to the Sky,” the youngest of the fighting Gary Russell’s appearing on the night came out to an enthusiastic reaction from the local fans. The 2016 US Olympian kept them cheering through a short piece of work in the Jr. welterweight division.

aleem-khytrov-fight (6)

21-year old Gary Antuanne Russell (5-0, 5 KO), 137 ¼, of Washington, DC, scored two knockdowns en route to a first round knockout of 32-year old Wilmer Rodriguez (9-3, 7 KO), 142 ¾, of the Dominican Republic. The first knockdown came on a combination to the head as Russell pounced on his wildly outclassed opponent. Rodriguez tried to make it to round two but a violent right to the body dropped him again in the closing seconds. At the count of eight, it appeared Rodriguez would rise again but his knee buckled and referee Dave Braslow counted him out at 2:54 of the first.

Russell was excited about the local support. "It's my hometown and I expect my hometown to be behind me and support me. This was a great experience competing here at MGM National Harbor. It was electric. It wasn't my first time, but it always feels like home.”

His single round stay at home suited him just fine. “I have no scars or bruises, it was quick and fast…I wasn't worried about how my opponent came into this fight, just that I was at my peak. With that focus, I was able to get the job done.”

It was Rodriguez third loss in four starts and second in a row. All have come via stoppage.

After a break in the action following the first three bouts of the night, fighting resumed in the super featherweight division.

26-year old Cobia Breedy (11-0, 4 KO), 128 ¼, of Bridgetown, Barbados, won his third straight six-round unanimous decision over 31-year old Christopher Martin (30-10-3, 10 KO), 128 ½, of Chula Vista, California. The loss was Martin’s eighth in eleven starts and second in a row. The referee was Bill Clancy.

Breedy didn’t show off much power but there were plenty of other building blocks on display for the Caribbean prospect. Breedy flashed a quick jab, constant head and upper body movement, and a little bit of personality. The veteran Martin never made it easy, landing some crowd pleasing hooks in close quarters and pressing the action from start to finish. Both men showed great respect to each other as a trio of shutout scores, 60-54 across the board, were announced for Breedy.

The first of the three Gary Russell’s on the card got a solid ovation prior to six rounds of scheduled bantamweight action. Then he tried to get home early.

25-year old bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (11-0, 9 KO), 118 ½, of Washington, DC, dropped 32-year old Jonathan Lecona (17-20-4, 6 KO), 119 ¼, of Mexico City, Mexico, in the first behind a high-pressure attack on the inside. Russell nearly scored a second knockdown with a blazing trio of shots to the head near the ropes just before the bell.

The promising southpaw picked up where he left off in round two. Raining shots to the head and body, it looked all but over but the brave Lecona fought back. Using a jab and working to the body, Lecona landed some decent shots and kept himself in the fight even if he was taking the worst of it.

Lecona kept his feet until the fourth round when, in the final minute, a series of echoing blows sent him to the floor. A defiant Lecona argued it had been a slip and showed no quit when asked by the referee if he still wanted to go for round five. Russell took care of the decision for him, never letting Lecona out of his own corner after the bell, battering away until referee Bill Clancy waved it off at :16 of round five. 

Russell has not gone the distance in any fight since 2016 but he stated he could have done more. "I felt as though I showed some versatility, but I could have made it an even easier fight from the inside and the outside. He didn't have the skill that I have.” If Russell has his way, it won’t be a long wait to return. "I'm ready to get back in the ring as soon as possible. We're in the gym 24/7 and staying as active as possible."

As the crowd slowly started to file in for the night, a pair of journeyman middleweights gave them a solid effort.

31-year old local Brandon Quarles (19-4-1, 10 KO), 157 ¾, of Alexandria, Virginia, brought along a friendly cheering section and a winning body attack, using the latter to score a knockdown and then stoppage in five rounds over a game 29-year old Fidel Monterrosa (38-18-1, 30 KO), 160 ½, of Barranquilla, Colombia. It was the fifteenth stoppage loss of Monterrosa’s career but he gave a worthy effort along the way. Monterrosa got up from the knockdown and fought back but another body shot bent him over and referee Dave Braslow waved it off at 2:01 of round five.

The evening’s live action began in the light heavyweight division. The action didn’t last long.

Reuben Simmons (3-0, 2 KO), 166 ¾, of Fort Polk, Louisiana, was awarded a technical knockout when 26-year old Ayron Polk (0-2), 172 ½, of Princeton, West Virginia, was deemed unable to continue prior to the second round. It was an awkward finish. During three lackluster opening minutes, few punches connected but a nasty clash of heads clearly occurred near Polk’s red corner. The doctor checked on Polk after the round the final ruling ended up a technical knockout. The referee was Kenny Chevalier.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Jennings-Dimitrenko ESPN Double Averaged 686,000 Viewers David Price: Sean Turner Is The Right Fight For Me Yenifel Vicente, Arnold Khegai Secure Knockout Wins World Boxing Super Series To Stage Second Cruiser Tourney Pedraza: I Would Love To Fight Lomachenko Unification Next! Porter is Firm That 'Tremendous' Errol Spence Fight Will Happen Saunders: Canelo Doesn't Deserve Rematch; Hope GGG KOs Him Warren: Wilder-Fury is Really Big - On Level of Lewis vs. Tyson TJ Doheny: With My Team, My Ability - I Can Beat Anyone at 122 Atif Shafiq Gearing Up For Andy Townend Showdown Pintor Backs Canelo To Shock Gennady Golovkin in Rematch Wilder: Once I Beat Fury, Fans Must Pressure Joshua To Fight Me Filip Hrgovic vs. Amir Mansour on September 8, Cornish Out Khan vs. Vargas Card: Steven Donnelly, Sean McComb Added Shawn Porter Celebrates Arrival of 'Peak Week' For Danny Garcia Wilder: Joshua, Hearn Degraded Me - $15 Mill & No Percentage! Video: Joe Cortez Talks Wilder vs. Fury and Canelo vs. GGG Video: David Benavidez Talks Dirrell, Ramirez, Uzcatguei Video: Al Bernstein Discusses Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Cristofer Gonzalez: It Would Be an Honor To Face Sor Rungvisai Abel Sanchez: By End of 2019, Joyce Ready For Wilder, Joshua O'Sullivan: I'll Smash Through Lemieux - Canelo or GGG Next! Tyson Fury May Train in Big Bear For Deontay Wilder Clash Devin Haney vs. Juan Carlos Burgos - ShoBox Triple is Official Canelo vs. Golovkin Rematch - Undercard Officially Announced Tyson Fury Explodes on Dillian Whyte in War of Words Joshua Greer Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank Hatton: Wilder is Technically Not That Good, Fury Wins on Points Fury: I'd Love Another Fight Before Wilder, Not an Ideal World PBC on FS1 - August 24 Card - 90 Minute Prelims Telecast Added Scott Quigg To Return On Saunders vs. Andrade October 20 Card Umar Salamov vs. Denis Liebau - September 5 in Russia Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Ruslan Madiev, Golden Boy on ESPN, 9/13 Usyk vs. Bellew In Play For November 10 in London Fury: F***ing Great Performance; Crowd Loved Every Minute! Terence Crawford Sees No Obstacles in Facing PBC Fighters Saunders Sees Wilder-Fury Unfolding Similar To Fury-Pianeta Frampton: Warrington is Not an Easy Fight, Will Be Very Exciting Hidenori Otake Vows To KO Isaac Dogboe in Glendale Jay Harris: Me vs. Andrew Selby is a Good Fight For Welsh Fans!

Latest Active Forum Threads