Gary Russell Jr. says Tank, Valdez & Shakur ducked him, wants Lomachenko rematch
By Jeff Aronow: Gary Russell Jr. is upset that he couldn’t get fights against Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
WBC featherweight champion Russell Jr. ( 31-1, 18 KOs) feels that those fighters ducked him and that he’s become a fighter that is the equivalent of the “boogeyman,” a guy whose name is whispered rather than spoken out loud.
The 33-year-old Russell Jr. is finding out the hard way what it’s like when you’re viewed as someone that is more trouble than you’re worth.
He’s too talented for his own good, and he doesn’t bring a lot to the table in terms of popularity and name recognition with the boxing public.
What had hurt Russell Jr. is him choosing to fight once a year and staying at 126, which has never been a popular division with the casual boxing fans.
You’re not going to become a PPV star if you stay at 126 your entire career, as Russell Jr. has done.
Russell Jr. says Tank Davis is “scared”
“I want to fight Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, but they’re scared. They want to fight everybody else but me,” said Gary Russell Jr. to SNOWQUEENLA. “I would love a rematch with Vasily Lomachenko.
“I wanted Devin Haney, but it was just a lot of talk. They’re not giving me the real paperwork on the contract.
“So, a lot of these guys aren’t in a rush to get in the ring with me. I been on Tank’s a**. I want Tank. It would sell.
“Our pay-per-view numbers would do much higher than what his pay-per-view numbers did in his last fight [against Mario Barrios] or what he did in his fight previous to that against Leo Santa Cruz.
“I’m pretty sure our numbers would sell anywhere, and anybody in the sport of boxing world has a hard time competing with me and Gervonta’s pay-per-view numbers. It doesn’t matter who you pick in the sport of boxing,” said Russell Jr.
Mayweather Promotions are very selective in the type of fights they put Gervonta ‘Tank Davis’ in, as the head guy for that company is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
He was always known for being very calculated about the type of fights he made for himself during his career. So instead of seeing Mayweather fight guys like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, and Tim Bradley, we saw him fighting Robert Guerrero, Marcos Maidana, and Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather Promotions aren’t going to let Gervonta fight anyone that they suspect will give him problems, which means Russell Jr can forget about getting a fight with him unless he gets old.
Stevenson & Oscar Valdez didn’t want Gary
“Shakur Stevenson, when he was at 126, and he had the opportunity to compete against me, he wanted Josh Warrington, he wanted all these other people,” said Russell Jr. “My name was never mentioned.
“Mother f**** are not in a rush to get in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr. That’s cool, they see kinks in these guy’s armor,” said Russell Jr when told that Shakur is fighting WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring next.
“I’m one of those guys where you don’t see too many kinks in my armor. There are no kinks in my armor. I see the fluff in them. You can see holes in them.
“And you can see stuff that you can take advantage of. You don’t see stuff that you can take advantage of when I fight. I don’t show no flaws.
“And I been wanting Oscar Valdez,” Russell Jr. continued. “I been wanting him. When he was at 126, he didn’t want no parts of me either. Anyone you named, they had the opportunity to step in the square with me, and they didn’t want no part.
“Oscar Valdez to Shakur Stevenson to Josh Warrington to anyone else that you want to mention in that 126 range, none of those mother f***** wanted any smoke with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.”
Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez are both with Top Rank, and they compete on ESPN, so those are two big reasons why neither of them has fought the PBC-managed Russell.
It’s very difficult to set up fights between PBC and Top Rank fighters unless we’re talking about huge-money fights involving guys like Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Gary Russell Jr. doesn’t have the popularity to make it worthwhile for Top Rank to work with PBC to set up a fight between him and Shakur Stevenson, Vasily Lomachenko, and Oscar Valdez.
Russell Jr: I’ll scorch Lomachenko
“Lomachenko fought me at the lowest form that I could possibly be on,” said Russell Jr. about his 12 round majority decision loss to Loma in 2014. “No one knew who Lomachenko was in the professional ranks until he fought Mr. Gary Russell Jr.
“You can’t take away what he did in the amateurs, but as far as the professionals, no one knew who Lomachenko was. He lost to [Orlando] Salido [in March 2014].
“He’s not a better fighter; he doesn’t have the skill-set that I have,” Russell Jr. said of Lomachenko. 99 times out of a 100, I’m going to scorch his a**. Let’s make it happen.
“Honestly, I don’t care what Lomachenko does unless he’s trying to fight me,” Russell Jr. said when asked to pick a winner of the rematch between Teofimo Lopez and Loma in 2022.
“Them are my true feelings about it. I don’t care about Lomachenko. He can lose his next ten fights; it doesn’t matter. Before the conclusion of my career, that’s a fight that I want to get.
“You know I’m on his a**,” continued Russell Jr. about Lomachenko. “He got a gift, an early Christmas gift. He took it and ran with it. That’s good. You better take it and run with it.
“If I was smart, if I had the information that I have now, I had to lose 5 1/2 pounds before the fight.
“If I had known what I have known, I wouldn’t have lost none of the weight at all, and I would have fought just like Salido did, and I would have beat that a**.
“But I don’t care if he loses his next 10 fights or he wins his next 10 fights. That’s a fight that I still want. I’m still on your a**,” Russell Jr. on wanting a rematch with Lomachenko.
It’s safe to say that Lomachenko will not give Russell Jr a rematch with him competing at 126.
If he’s serious about wanting a rematch with Lomachenko, Russell Jr. has to move up to lightweight and start beating guys like WBC 135-lb champion Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Fighting only once a year at 126 in defending his WBC title, Russell Jr. has stunted his career, keeping himself from becoming a big name with the combination of inactivity and fighting in a dead division.
Russell: I’m the boogeyman
“It’s not that I’m not trying to fight, it’s because I can’t get these opponents to step in the ring to compete against,” said Russell Jr. when some unknown guy from the audience intruded on his interview and asked him why he fights only once a year.
“My name is whispered like I’m the f**** boogeyman or I’m like I’m candyman,” said Russell Jr. “My name is whispered. They don’t say my name out loud, and these guys don’t say nothing.
“So if someone feels like I’m talking just to talk, then shut me up, do something about it. They know they’re scared to put that s*** on the line. I’m one of those guys that are going to put it on the line. I’m a real fighter,” Russell Jr. said.
Russell Jr. is too risky for fighters to want to face him, and he’s in the wrong weight class for him to get the fights.
If Russell Jr wants to increase his chances of getting big fights, he’s got to move up to 135 to be amongst the top lightweights. The 126-lb weight class is a dead division for all intents and purposes. Even 130 is dead as well.
As small as Russell Jr. is, he might not have the size at 5’4 1/2″; he might not have the size to move up to 135 to compete against fighters like 5’10” Ryan Garcia and 5’8″ Devin Haney.
Mayweather gave the sport a black eye – says Russell
“I’m one of those throwback fighters from back in the day. This sport has gotten weak. They’re letting YouTubers participate in this s*** now. That s*** is crazy. They’re letting YouTubers participate in it now.
“I think the sport is getting watered down, and it’s getting weak. Put me in the ring with a YouTuber and see if I don’t destroy them.
“It’s merely just about money,” Russell Jr. said when asked about his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr. fighting YouTuber Logan Paul recently.
“I honestly felt like Floyd gave all fighters a black eye because you’re supposed to be one of the icons for the sport of boxing, Floyd Mayweather. And you mean to tell me you’re competing against a YouTuber, and you let this s*** be competitive. You make all boxers look weak; you make us look bad.
“I take my hat off to Jo Jo [Diaz Jr]. He’s a hell of a fighter, and he has a true fighters spirit.
“A lot of these guys pick and choose who they want to fight. If you’re a real fighter, put that s*** on the line, and let’s see what happens.
“Jo Jo knew he was getting in the ring when he competed against me, against one of the best fighters in the world.
“He was willing to put it on the line, he came up short, but he kept grinding, he kept pushing, and he became a world champion shortly after that. I take my hat off to Jo Jo,” said Russell Jr.
Many boxing fans agree that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did make the sport look bad with his recent decision to fight YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition match.
By making that move, Mayweather cheapened the sport in the eyes of fans. Unfortunately, this is likely only the beginning of YouTuber boxing events being sold to the public. The next one is the Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley match on PPV.
Even though neither guy has any experience against professional boxers, the fight is still being sold on pay-per-view as a sporting event.
- Is Shakur Stevenson afraid of moving to lightweight division?
- Jared Anderson to fight on Lomachenko vs. Commey card on Dec.11th
- Shakur Stevenson will move to 135 after winning more titles at 130
- Shakur Stevenson angry Oscar Valdez fight not happening