I like Gary Russell Jr. He’s undefeated with a record of 24-0 and though he has yet to have what some would call a career defining fight. He has shown a very high level of skill, athleticism, and ring IQ against all of the opponents he has faced so far. He now has an upcoming fight June 21st against the much heralded Olympic 2 time gold medal winning amateur sensation Vasyl Lomachenko.
In a great interview with Tha Boxing Voice’s own Nestor Gibbs, he speaks on the politics of boxing stating his irritation by the fact that Lomachenko is able to challenge for a world title for the SECOND TIME with only two professional fights under his belt. With this, I agree 100% because as he states in the interview, there are more deserving guys who have been languishing in the rankings waiting for a world title shot who ultimately were passed over so Lomachenko can get not one but two shots at it.
To me, even given his extensive amateur background a title shot in both your 2nd and 3rd professional bouts is a bit absurd. But the game is what it is so in the infallible words of a pimp I know, “We just gotta play it how it go.”
Coming back to the interview, the most telling portion of it in my opinion came when Nes mentioned to Gary that even though Lomachenko is clearly benefiting from being politically connected, the same could also be said about Gary. That elicited a response that was very interesting when he basically said he wanted to get more experience and professional rounds under his belt before stepping into deep waters.
He notes the many differences between the amateurs and the pros and how there are certain things about the fight game that only experience can teach you. I not only agree with that notion 100% but it’s mainly because of it that I’m picking Gary Russell to win against Lomachenko.