“I am absolutely looking for the knockout and I believe I will get it,” said WBC Featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs), who will take on once-beaten Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 12-round fight will headline a Showtime-televised card that will also feature Jermell Charlo in a Junior Middleweight fight against
“I don’t expect this fight to go the distance. I am going to pressure him from the opening bell, my conditioning and confidence is at an all-time high,” said Gonzalez, a 33-year-old veteran of Mexico.
Gonzalez’s confidence has only grown after knocking out Abner Mares in 2013, which earned him the title he lost to Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2012.
Besides an increase in confidence, Gonzalez is also motivated by the attention and respect he has gotten since winning back the WBC title.
“Ever since beating Mares, I feel like I am finally getting the respect and support from the fans and media that I deserve. I get recognized all of the time now. The recognition motivates me to work harder than ever before and not let my fans down,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has fought as a professional since 1999, but believes he is in his prime and has much more to prove.
“I feel like I am in my boxing prime. There is still so much to prove and show to the world that I am still at the top of my game and capable of fighting with the best,” said Gonzalez, who shares the top-ten spot with others in his division such as Nicolas Walters, Vasyl Lomachenko and Evgeny Gradovich.
Russell, 26, on the other hand, will get a second chance at a world title after losing a majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko last year for the previously vacant WBO title.
Despite losing the fight, Russell did demonstrate a speed advantage that may help him in his fight with Gonzalez.
“Gary Russell’s speed and quickness could be a factor for us in this fight. We must find a way to eliminate it,” said Nacho Beristain, Gonzalez’s trainer.
“We need to find a solution to his quickness and do everything we can to win. We feel like we’ve prepared enough and are in a great position to come out on top,” said the veteran trainer, who also trains Juan Manuel Marquez.
Nevertheless, Gonzalez is confident, despite going into a fight against the fastest boxer in his division.
“A lot of people are doubting me going into this fight because of the speed of Russell. It’s a great challenge for me and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” concluded Gonzalez.