On Saturday, at the MGM Grand National Harbor, Gary Russell, Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) retained his WBC Featherweight title by Round 7 TKO over mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs) to a raucous crowd in Oxon Hill, MD.
After a mild first and second round where Escandon tried his best to get inside and make the fight ugly for Russell, it was in the middle of the third round that Russell caught and unsuspecting Escandon with a crisp right hook that floored the rugged veteran.
Escandon rose from the canvas on unsteady legs, but to Escandon’s credit, he survived Russell’s assault with over a minute and a half to spare. Russell threw hard combinations and rocked Escandon several more time before the conclusion of the third but the tree trunk posing as a boxer named Escandon would not fall.
The fourth round was as uneventful as the first and second with Russell letting Escandon work on the inside and make the fight ugly. While Russell hit the mark with sharp combinations specifically, the left uppercut.
Escandon, who was fed a steady diet of leather, still seemed confident getting more creative with his punch selection and tactics. Gary Russell remained unphased landing sometimes up to eight or nine unanswered punches before Escandon would return fire.
Russell answered the bell for the seventh round to chants of “Gary!Gary!Gary!”
He calmly, but immediately polished Escandon’s face with a vicious combination ending with a hard right hook that sent him backward into the ropes. The referee took one look at Escandon’s eyes and waved the fight off at the 59-second mark.