By Carlos Boogs
BoxingScene.com has been advised that a Showtime televised doubleheader is being targeted for March 11 in Washington, DC.
The card would feature two mandatory defenses, which involve WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo and WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.
Charlo has a mandatory owed to Charles Hatley, while Russell will be ordered to face interim-champion Oscar Escandon. All four fighters will be coming back from various degrees of inactivity.
Russell (27-1, 16 KOs) has been out of the ring since April 2016, when he knocked out Patrick Hyland in two rounds. Russell has won three in a row since losing a twelve round decision to Vasyl Lomachenko in June 2014 - when they fought for the vacant WBO title at 126-pounds. Russell captured the WBC belt the following year by easily knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez.
His inactivity -with only a single fight in 2015- is what led to Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) and Robinson Castellanos being ordered in March 2016 to battle for the interim-belt. Escandon came off the floor in the second round to stop Castellanos in the seventh.
Escandon is 3-2 in his last five fights, with two split decision losses to top fighters Nehomar Cermeno and Moises Flores.
Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) captured the vacant WBC title last May in Las Vegas when he knocked out John Jackson in eight rounds. The WBC title became vacant after Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired in September 2015. The victory made history, as his twin brother Jermall Charlo is the IBF champion at 154 - and they became the first set of twins to simultaneously hold world titles in the same weight division.
Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) has been out of the ring since November of 2015, when he traveled to Australia and knocked out Anthony Mundine in eleven rounds to pick up the WBC silver title. Hatley has now won nine in a row since getting stopped in the first round by Lanardo Tyner in what was a big upset in August of 2012.