Gary Russell Jr Still Holds a Torch For Tank Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko!
On January 22, WBC featherweight champion “Mr.” Gary Russell (31-1, 18 KO’s) will setout to make the sixth defense of his title. His challenger, #1 (WBO), #2 (WBC) and #5 (IBF) ranked contender, Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (23-0, 16 KO’s), is looking to dethrone Russell from his long standing reign.
Having roughed up and snatched the WBC belt from Jhonny Gonzalez, back on March 28, 2015, Mr. is the longest reigning champion in the sport. Let the DC native tell it, he has no intentions on seeing his rule come to an end with Magsayo. While his talent, precision and in-ring IQ are beyond question at this point in his career, Russell is often lampooned for his lack of activity.
His fighting annually has become quite tiresome; there is no real defense for it. To his credit though, Mr. may not compete as much as the fans want but he certainly stays calling out fighters! Two such boxers, who remain on the top of his ‘hit list’ are Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
A STRONG PAIR
On the long ledger of names that Russell has publicly challenged, regular WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (26-0, 24 KO’s) and three-division world champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KO’s) continue to pique his interest. During a recent session of round table interviews, the WBC champion minced no words when expressing his desire to face these two men above all else.
“I am a very respectful person, so I would never overlook anyone. Right now my main focus is Mark Magsayo. I know the is ready and he is going to bring his best. But, god willing, we get past him, injury free, if I could make two fights that I would want to happen, I want Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and I would want Lomachenko.”
ROLL THE DICE
Davis is fresh off his hard-fought unanimous win over the tenacious Isaac Cruz. With that bout taking place so recently, it’s unlikely that Tank has his next opponent selected, let alone a finished and signed contract. Said to say, he should be available. Russell has previously stated that he would only move up to face a champion. So while he is a ‘regular’ WBA champion, Davis does hold a belt and tremendous respect in the sport. This certainly would make for a fun scrap.
From Mr.’s perspective, a dustup with Lomachenko is a no-brainer. To date, Loma is the only man to ever blemish Russell’s professional record. Being the prideful man that he is, the WBC featherweight champion would definitely love the opportunity to run that match back. This is even more so due to his insistence that he entered the ring against Loma diminished as the result of being sick. Sadly however, both bouts are seemingly pretty unrealistic at this point in time.
Historically, Davis’s Mayweather promoters have been reluctant to pit their prized fighter in with fellow apex predators. Therefore it’s unlikely that they will change their tactics now, or for Russell. For his part, Loma has never displayed much interest in staging another duel with Mr. Not only this, Lomachenko is back on a title hunt himself after losing his titles to Teofimo Lopez. Facing the featherweight champion will do little to advance his present ambitions at lightweight. Stranger things have happened, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on either of these matches to go down.
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By: Bakari Simpson