Could we see Gary Russell finally fight more than once a year?
Gary Russell Jr. is regarded by many in boxing circles as one of the more gifted fighters in the world, with arguably the quickest hands in the sport. For all his talent, the current WBC featherweight champion is also known for his infrequent activity.
In the past, Russell (29-1, 17KO) has frustrated observers with his stance of only fighting once a year. His rationale is he fights once a year to preserve his body; a move that opposes conventional boxing wisdom that an active fighter is a sharper fighter, and a more popular one.
In fact, the WBC champion has only fought once a year from 2015-2018. He has been dogmatic, remaining adamant about his position. However, is there a possibility that he is now having a change of heart?
A Change of Heart?
At the Keith Thurman vs Josesito Lopez weigh-in on Friday, Russell told reporters he plans to return to the ring in April in order to “keep his teeth sharp,” followed by what he hopes is a unification bout against current WBA champion, Leo Santa Cruz in either June or July.
If this turns out to be the case, it would be a welcomed change. While the argument for keeping your body fresh is an understandable statement, fans want more from Russell and the reality, he should want more from himself if he wants to accomplish all of his goals.
A Russell – Santa Cruz fight would be one of the more intriguing bouts in the sport; a clash of styles between the super-fast Russell versus the aggressiveness of Santa Cruz.
At this point, we would like to see a fighter of his caliber just fight and showcase his skills. He’s too talented just sitting on the shelf only to step into the ring once a year.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.