Gary Russell Jr calls out Tank, Lomachenko & Magsayo
By Dan Ambrose: Recently dethroned former WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. called out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and Vasily Lomachenko last Saturday night, making it clear that he wants a fight against either one of those fighters next.
Russell Jr. says he’s willing to move up to 130 or 135 to get important fights against super featherweights and lightweights like Tank, Lomachenko, and Devin Haney.
What’s troubling is that the former WBC 126-lb champion Russell Jr. is still talking about wanting to fight once a year only. Being seen only on an annual basis by fans, it’s kept Russell from emerging as one of the stars in the sport.
It’s as if he’s fine with doing the minimum, and that ultimately will prevent him from getting the important name fighters to face him. Why would they want to face a guy that’s not well known to casual boxing fans?
Before Russell (31-2, 18 KOs) can potentially meet up with either of those well-known fighters, he says he needs six months for his injured shoulder to heal, and then he’ll be ready to return to the ring.
The 33-year-old Russell Jr. lost his WBC 126-lb title to #1 contender Mark Magsayo last month on January 22, losing a close 12 round majority decision in Atlantic City.
Russell was coming off a nearly two-year layoff at the time and looked rusty and nowhere near as sharp as in his previous fight. He lost to the beatable-looking Magsayo by the scores 115-113, 115-113, and 114-114.
Although Russell says he wants a rematch with the 26-year-old Magsayo, his promoters aren’t interested in waiting around a year or two for a fight with him. Instead, Team Magsayo wants to fight #1 WBC Rey Vargas next and then look to get the big names.
“Hell, yeah,” said Gary Russell Jr. to Fighthype when asked if he’s interested in going up to 135 to take on Devin Haney, Vasyl Lomachenko, or Tank Davis.
“Here’s the thing. When I was the champions [featherweight], I was somewhat locked in,” said Russell Jr about when he held the WBC 126-lb title. “I had to do certain things.
“Now, I’ve got the flexibility to go to 135. I don’t know, but I am going to f*** somebody up. My shoulder like I say is going to take six months, and six months is going to put me right on schedule for competing once a year.
“130 or 135. Both of those are weight divisions I’ll be able to fluctuate and I’ll be able to write my name in those divisions as well,” said Russell Jr. “Everybody in those divisions can get it. Let me get my arm right.
“I definitely want Lomachenko. As far as Kambosos and Lomachenko, I don’t know. Styles make fights, I think it’ll be good fight. I personally don’t care who wins. Both can lose for all I care.
“I still want Lomachenko, and I still want Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. Mark [Magsayo], you’re on the hit list now. I know good and well you really don’t got in a rush to do that s*** again either,” said Russell Jr.
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- Eddie Hearn rates Haney at #1, says Tank vs. Ryan Garcia biggest fight at 135