By: Hans Themistode
Chris Colbert believes that he was destined to be in his current position.
The highly ranked super featherweight contender is approximately one month away from challenging for his first world title. On February 26th, at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, the New York native will take on WBA champion Roger Gutierrez.
Although Colbert is extremely grateful for the opportunity, he finds it impossible to come up short on that faithful Saturday night. If Colbert’s words prove to be prophetic, he immediately plans on facing some of the bigger names in the sport of boxing.
In a perfect world, in fact, a win over Gutierrez will serve as a precursor to a showdown against former WBC featherweight champion, Gary Russell Jr.
“Hopefully we can get the Gary Russell fight when he heals up,” said Colbert to a group of media members on a conference call. “I’ll put him in retirement.”
Russell Jr., 33, was once the longest reigning active champion in boxing. However, despite holding his WBC crown for well over six years, the speedy 126 pounder recently saw his reign atop the featherweight division come to an end.
On January 22nd, Russell Jr. attempted to defend his championship status against mandatory contender Mark Magsayo. Heading into their contest, Russell Jr. stated on numerous occasions that he was less than 100%. After boxing well early on, Russell Jr. screamed in agony in the fourth round, while pointing to his damaged right shoulder. Although he would continue to fight, the 33-year-old was visibly compromised.
With a wounded champion sitting in front of him, Magsayo took full advantage, winning a close and somewhat controversial majority decision.
Immediately following his defeat, Russell Jr. was adamant in his belief that he had done more than enough to earn the victory, even with one good arm. As the now former champion attempts to rehab, he expressed a desire to run things back with Magsayo as soon as possible.
Regardless of what Russell Jr. decides to do next, Colbert has grown an interest in facing him. Although Russell Jr. has campaigned the entirety of his career at 126 pounds, the crafty southpaw revealed that he would only be willing to move up in weight if he were able to land a showdown against a champion. In the mind of Colbert, a win over Gutierrez is a virtual lock.
If the New York native is successful in his world title bid, he would like his first defense to come against Russell Jr.
“I want Gary Russell. He said he ain’t moving up unless he can get somebody at 130 that got a belt. I will be the WBA super featherweight champion of the world so, let’s make it happen.”
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