It’s that special time of the year. You know, when Gary Russell Jr. comes out and defends his title against a mandatory challenger.
We’d love to see Russell Jr. take on any number of high-profile opponents in and around 126 pounds, but you know how that goes. It’s common knowledge that ever since stopping Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC strap in 2015, Russell Jr. only faces one opponent–usually his mandatory challenger–per year.
At this point, it just doesn’t look like it’s in the cards for Russell Jr. to take on any other top-notch fighter. Whether that’s Russell Jr.’s fault or someone else’s, can be debated all day.
But just because he’s not actually fighting the big names, it doesn’t mean that Russell Jr. will stop talking about the matchups we actually want to see (no offense to Mark Magsayo).
The latest fighter Russell Jr. has been mentioning is one who resides not too far up the road from him in Gervonta Davis.
“I never overlook anybody. Of course I want the Gervonta Davis fight,” said Russell Jr. during a recent virtual press conference. “But I’m focused on Magsayo. He’s the one who worked his way into this position to fight me. Davis is in no rush, so I’m going to remain focused on a true warrior who’s getting into the ring with me.”
Unfortunately for the paying public, Russell Jr. will be 34 this year and it seems like all of the fights we want to see him in just won’t come to fruition.
Russell Jr. will take on mandatory challenger Mark Magsayo live on Showtime on Saturday, January 22 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.
If you could pick one mega-fight for Russell Jr. to take in 2022, what fight would it be?