If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Last June, Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs) lost a tough majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko in his first bid for a world title.
Tonight, however, after a tune-up fight in December, Russell tried again in his second bid for a world title and scored an impressive fourth-round TKO victory over Mexican veteran Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs).
The scheduled 12-round fight headlined a card that was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and televised by Showtime in the U.S.
Russell, 26, of Capital Heights, MD, dazzled Gonzalez with his hand speed in the the first two rounds while a much slower and longer Gonzalez pushed forward to apply pressure.
Gonzalez had a height and reach advantage, but instead of using it, he pushed forward and gave up his advantages to land big shots.
Gonzalez’s aggression backfired in Round 3 when a counter hook dropped him as he was pushing forward. Gonzalez got back up but never seemed to recover.
In Round 4, Russell went for the kill and knocked Gonzalez down twice–the second from which Gonzalez could no longer recover.
When asked about possibly facing the winner of a possible fight between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz, Russell said that he’d talk to his advisor (Al Haymon) and team, but that he’d be back in the ring to train on Monday.
Russell is now a titleholder in a division that includes champions such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters and Evgeny Gradovich.