Gary Russell Jr.: The Invisible Champ

Coming off a unanimous decision victory last weekend, we were shown why Gary Russell Jr. is a world champion. The hand speed, the athleticism were all on full display, Russell dazzled from start to finish, showing the world what he was made of against undefeated challenger Tugstsogt Nyambayar, but one thing we all wonder, will this be the final fight of 2020 for Russell?

Gary Russell Jr. is no paper champion, with notable victories over such fighters as Joseph Diaz and Johnny Gonzales, Russell has shown he belongs in the ring with the top dogs of the featherweight division. The only blemish on his record was a loss to arguably one of the greatest fighters of our time in Vasyl Lomachenko. Decorated Amateur, WBC champion of the world, He has it all to his credit, but the only issue is his lack of bouts.

Russell Jr. has held the WBC featherweight title now since 2015, the only problem being he has only fought once a year since that win. In fact since that 2015 win, Russell has only fought five times. Each year it seems he comes out of hibernation to defend his title then disappears into obscurity. The one positive we can take from this fight is it was not his usual spring fight, he actually fought in the beginning of the year, meaning there could be hope we see him for the first time since 2014, fight multiple times this year.

It’s an odd thing to pinpoint, the lack of fights for Russell Jr. are usually not due just to injury, but contract negotiations, etc. Every year fans and the media lobby for Russell to take on bigger names in the division, be it Leo Santa Cruz, Josh Warrington or any top fighter. At this point it seems the annual fun of watching Russell is him defending his belt albeit in a tune up fight.

He has called out the big names once again, said like every year he will be more active in 2020, but with his track record, we are all a bit skeptical. Gary Russell Jr. is one of the most talented and athletic boxers in the sport, it’s just a shame we are only treated to his talents once a year.

By Alex Perl of SimBoxx🥊

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