By: Hans Themistode
It’s been quite some time since boxing fans have laid their eyes on Gary Russell Jr. in a boxing ring. The long-reigning 126 pound WBC belt holder has remained both out of sight and out of mind since picking up a fairly one-sided victory over Tugstsogt Nyambayar in February of 2020.
Russell Jr.’s recent string of inactivity, is something that fans have grown accustomed to. Outside of 2021, where he failed to enter the ring at all, the now 33-year-old has made only one appearance per year since 2015. Still, while he seldom steps through the ropes, Russell Jr. would love the opportunity to face one of the biggest names in the entire sport of boxing.
Though he’s competed at featherweight for the entirety of his boxing career, if given the choice, Russell Jr. would have no issue climbing up several weight divisions for a certain individual.
“I’ll fight Terence Crawford at 147 and I’ll come in at 140,” said Russell Jr. during an interview with FightHype.com.
Both Russell Jr., and his much bigger target, have long been entangled in a war of words over the past few years. Not long ago, Russell Jr. revealed that during a sparring session at the Olympic training center as amateurs, both he and Crawford shared heated words. Their beef, according to Russell Jr., would spill into a physical altercation, as the WBC featherweight titlist divulged that he landed a right-hand square on the jaw of the Omaha, Nebraska native.
While Crawford later explained that the two were never given their chance to settle their issues once and for all, he did threaten to “break” the neck of Russell Jr. if the two were ever to get into another street quarrel.
Regardless of the tension between both men, Crawford, 34, appears to be focused on furthering his aspirations of becoming an undisputed world champion at 147 pounds. Recently, the switch-hitting star picked up the most significant victory of his career, a tenth-round stoppage over former two-time titlist Shawn Porter.
With no hesitation, Russell Jr. admits to flipping on his television to check out the action. And while Crawford has received heaps of praise for his performance, Russell Jr. viewed it as so-so.
“I thought he did okay,” continued Russell Jr. “I honestly felt like Terence is a better boxer than Shawn Porter. I thought Shawn Porter was going to bring more tenacity.”
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