By: Hans Themistode
Gary Russell Jr. has heard the constant pleas coming from his fanbase centering around his inactivity.
From 2015 to 2020, Russell Jr. has placed his otherworldly talents on display only once annually. In 2021, the Maryland native failed to compete at all. Though Russell Jr. has spent the better part of the past decade sitting on the sidelines, he recently revealed that he plans on being much more loquacious in his demands for an active schedule going forward.
“It’s very realistic from my point of view,” said Russell Jr. during an interview with SecondsOut. “As long as we’re injury-free. We’re competing in the first month of the year so we have a lot of time to go out. The question is, will we be able to get another dancing partner? Will we be able to get these guys to actually step in the ring and compete against me. At the conclusion of this fight, I will be pushing very, very hard for another match, midsummer. And trying to finish the year out strong as well.”
In just one more day, Russell Jr. will look to defend his WBC featherweight title against mandatory challenger Mark Magsayo. The two will lock horns in a Showtime main event at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
While fans of Russell Jr. are hopeful that the incredibly skilled featherweight titlist will produce a more rambunctious schedule, he’s consistently maintained that his lack of ring appearances has stemmed from other big-name opponents’ unwillingness to face him.
Although Magsayo isn’t one of the more notable names at 126 pounds, Russell Jr. admires his desire to test his overall skillset against him.
With an unblemished record through 23 professional contests, including two consecutive knockouts, Russell Jr. isn’t summarily overlooking the Filipino native.
“I think he’s strong, I think he’s going to try to bring his physical best. I think he’s going to try and make it a dog fight.”
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