Warrington vacates IBF 126-pound strap, wants Russell Jr., Can

Josh Warrington has today vacated his IBF World Title after the IBF refused to sanction his proposed unification fight in April.

Earlier this month, the proposed mega fight with Xu Can was delayed with a new working date of April 24. Matchroom will now look to finalize that fight or make a giant match up with WBC king Gary Russell Jr.. Both the Can and Russell fights would be for the coveted Ring Magazine belt.

“It’s so important for Josh to be in a mega fight after (Mauricio)Lara on February 13,” said Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn. “He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it’s up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May. I’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout – both fights are Fight of the Year contenders.”

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF Title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division,” said Warrington. “I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”

Hearn 0n Haney: ‘The two main targets are Gary Russell Jr. and Yuriorkis Gamboa’

Eddie Hearn says Gary Russell Jr and Yuriorkis Gamboa are both targets for the return of WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney in November, live on DAZN. 

Haney (24-0 15 KOs) is raring to return to the ring and defend his crown for the second time after he was forced into surgery when injuring his shoulder in his first defense against Alfredo Santiago in Los Angeles in November.

The 21 year old has fully recovered and November 7 is the date promoter Hearn has earmarked for ‘The Dream’ to display his talents for the first time in 2020, with Russell Jnr and Gamboa the two men vying to take on the Las Vegas star. 

Haney and long reigning WBC World Featherweight champion Russell Jnr (31-1 18 KOs) have become embroiled in a war of words on social media over the potential clash, while Gamboa (30-3 18 KOs) is aiming for a third shot at becoming a two-weight World champion – and Hearn expects to name Haney’s foe next week.

Devin has been doing a great job in keeping his profile active during lockdown but now it’s almost time for get busy in the ring,” said Hearn. “November 7 is the targeted date for his return and the two main targets are Gary Russell Jr and Yuriorkis Gamboa. Both are great fights for Devin as he approaches a key stretch in his career to become standout star.

Devin is ready to defend his WBC titles against all comers and I can’t wait to see him back in the ring in November.”

 

Magdaleno: ‘Gary Russell, I’m coming for you’

There were fouls, multiple point deductions, and knockdowns. But for featherweight Jessie Magdaleno, the win is all that mattered. Magdaleno prevailed over Yenifel Vicente via disqualification in the Top Rank on ESPN main event Thursday evening from the MGM Grand Conference Center — Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

Magdaleno scored knockdowns in the first and fifth rounds, while Vicente had three points taken away for low blows in the fourth and another one in the 10th. At 1:38 of the 10th, referee Robert Byrd disqualified Vicente due to repeated low blows.

“He was a rugged fighter,” Magdaleno said. “He was a tough veteran. I tip my hat off to him. He knew what he was doing. His way was to get me low,” 

Magdaleno (28-1, 18 KOs) has won three in a row since losing his junior featherweight world title in April 2018. 

The 28-year-old Magdaleno now sets his sights on a bigger fight. Magdaleno is now the number one ranked contender for the WBC 126-pound title held by Gary Russell Jr.; he is also ranked fourth by the WBO, whose 126-pound title is held by Shakur Stevenson. After his win over Vicente, Magdaleno had a warning for Russell. 

“Gary Russell, I’m coming for you,” he said. “But like I’ve said before, I want any of the champions at 126 pounds. I want to be a two-division world champion. Simple as that.”

Russell is a very skilled fighter and a guy that Magdaleno would have a tough time defeating. The fight probably does not happen because of promotional issues(Russell with PBC; Magdaleno with Top Rank), and it might not happen because Russell could move up to 130 to get a bigger fight with Leo Santa Cruz or Tank Davis.

Regardless of what happens, Magdaleno has put himself in a position to capture another title.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

Russell on Tank Davis: ‘He definitely don’t have the skills that it takes to mess with me’

On Saturday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, WBC 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr.(31-1, 18 KOs) continued his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Tugstsogt Nyambayar. 

Now, the 31-year-old Russell wants bigger fights, and he is willing to move up to 135 pounds to do it.

After his victory over Nyambayar, Russell expressed his desire to fight Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who made his 135-pound debut in December with a win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in Atlanta. Russell wants the fight and has no problem doing that fight next.

“I’m not gonna say he’s a great fighter,” Russell said about Davis on Saturday night. “I do take my hat off to him because I watched him come up in the amateurs. I’m glad that he had the opportunity to provide a sense of financial stability for his family and friends, and all. But he definitely don’t have the skills it takes to mess with me. That’s the reason why he’s choosing, with his team and Floyd(Mayweather), and everybody else is choosing to keep him away from me.

“They handpick who they wanna fight. I don’t handpick who I fight. I fight whoever says they wanna fight me. Let’s make the fight happen.”

Davis, who is from Baltimore, MD, and Russell, who represents D.C., would sell big in the DMV, and Russell agrees.

“The fight would sell,” Russell said. “We could fight in D.C. Everybody and their mother and their grandmother would come to that fight, so let’s make the fight happen.”

I think this would be a great fight and a fight that would excite a lot of people. Davis brings power, but Russell brings the speed, so this fight could be very compelling Currently, Davis has a legal situation to handle after he was recently charged with simple battery, so who knows how much that would impact him moving forward, but for now, let’s hope they can make this fight happen!

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Russell: ‘We just focused, and showed I’m one of the longest reigning champions for a reason’

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. successfully defended his title by winning a unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Tugstsogt Nyambayar live on SHOWTIME Saturday night in a Premier Boxing Champions event from PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. Russell won by the scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112

In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-main event, 39-year-old Guillermo Rigondeaux moved down in weight to win a world title in a second-division, capturing the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title with a split-decision win against former champion Liborio Solís. Rigondeaux became the oldest boxer to win the world title at 118 pounds. The scores were 116-111 and 115-112 in favor of Rigondeaux with the third judge giving the fight to Solis, 115-112.

Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) made the fifth defense of his 126-pound crown by piling up rounds early, winning the first three frames on all three cards and out landing Nyambayar in the first four rounds according to the PunchStat Report.

“We put the work in every day in the gym,” said Russell. “I’m a perfectionist. We knew we had a very tough opponent and I knew he was going to bring his physical best. He had everything to gain and nothing to lose. We just focused, and showed I’m one of the longest reigning champions for a reason.

“The difference was ring generalship, hand speed and boxing IQ. He only had 11 pro fights, of course he was an Olympic silver medalist, but he only had those 11 pro fights. I’ve had over 30 and I think my experience was enough to overcome and win this fight.”

Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KOs) significantly picked up his punch output in the second half of the fight, but believed that he waited too long for Russell to come to him.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Nyambayar. “He was the better man tonight. I didn’t do my work the way I was supposed to. He is a great champion who fought a great fight. I made a mistake by waiting for him during the fight. I’d love the rematch if I can get it.”

The 31-year-old Russell is part of one of boxing’s premier fighting families as he is trained by his father Gary Sr. and brother Gary Allan. Earlier in the night, Gary Jr. worked the corner for his younger brothers, unbeaten super lightweight Gary Antuanne and undefeated bantamweight Antonio, who both posted convincing victories.For Russell, who has held the WBC 126-pound crown since 2015, he plans to stay sharp in the gym and move up in weight in order to land a fight against another big name.

“We never take a day off,” said Russell. “I’ll probably be back in the gym next week. We’ll keep our wheels turning and stay sharp. If we have to move up in weight for these top fighters to feel like they have an advantage and take the fight, then we’ll do it.”

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Gary Russell Jr.: ‘I’m trying to figure out why I’m not on the pound for pound list’

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr.(30-1, 18 KOs) is back and set to battle the unbeaten mandatory challenger Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar(11-0, 9 KOs) on Saturday, February 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Recently, Russell, who is looking to move up to 130, has openly stated that he wants some of the big names out there, and he reiterated that on Thursday. 

“If it were up to me, I’d be facing Leo Santa Cruz or Gervonta Davis, but this is what I have to face,” Russell said at a press conference in Allentown. “I’m here to defend my title in style once again.”

While Russell would love to fight Santa Cruz and Davis, he made it clear that he believes Nyambayar will give him a tough fight on Saturday night.

“Tug will be the best he possibly can be because he knows he’s facing one of the best fighters in the world,” Russell said. “He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. He’s going to leave it all on the line.

“I think Tug is a lot more technically sound than a lot of the guys who I have competed against. He’s another guy with everything to gain and nothing to lose, so I’m anticipating a tough fight.”

Russell thinks he is the total package, and he says he should be on the pound-for-pound list.

“You should expect to see what you always see with me,” he said. “Boxing at its best. A great deal of ring generalship. Good boxing IQ. Hand speed. Punching power. The total package as a fighter. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to figure out why I’m not on the pound for pound list given all of that. That’s an issue.”

Hopefully, if Russell handles his business on Saturday night, he will move up to 130 and go against some the big names out there.

Rigo: ‘I’m going to show people why I am one of the best boxers of my generation’

Former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux will seek to become a three-time, two-division world champion when he moves down to bantamweight to challenge former champion Liborio Solis for the vacant WBA title live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, February 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from PPL Center in Allentown, Pa.

“I’m trying to make history by winning a third world title in a second weight class, while also matching my two [Olympic] Gold Medals,” said Rigondeaux, who will fight at bantamweight for the first time in his career. “I want to make a statement and solidify my legacy as one of the best Cuban fighters ever. I want the boxing world to be talking about me, as I seek to become a world champion once again. February 8 will be a special day for me and my family.

“I know at super bantamweight I am a force to be reckoned with. Now that I’m moving down to bantamweight, I feel stronger and I’m getting the most out of my skills. The bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions are filled with great fighters to test myself against. It’s a very exciting time and I am training very hard for each opportunity that is granted to me.”

This will be Rigondeaux’s second straight fight working with the renowned head trainer Ronnie Shields, and conducting training camp at Shields’ gym in Houston.

“Ronnie and I are working very hard and smart,” said Rigondeaux. “We have put together a great game plan that we are going to execute on fight night. All of my tools are getting sharpened up and everyone will see that the hard work we’ve put in will pay off. Ronnie is a great coach and I’ll be fighting with something to prove on fight night.”

“He is very focused, and one of the hardest workers in the gym,” said Shields. “Rigondeaux is so determined to become a world champion once again. He comes to camp every single day with that goal, and I don’t see any way he doesn’t achieve it.”

Rigondeaux is coming off an exciting knockout win over former world champion Julio Ceja last June. The Guantanamo, Cuba native will look to capture his next world title when he faces Solis, a former super flyweight world champion for the vacant WBA belt.

“Solis is a good opponent and a worthy challenger, but I am ready to reclaim my status as a world champion,” said Rigondeaux. “I’m going to show people why I am one of the best boxers of my generation.

“This is a very big deal for me. For years I was one of the best fighters in the world, if not, the best fighter in the world. When you’re a champion, you only fight the top opponents and those are the type of fights I want. I’m going to start another long reign as champion beginning February 8.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Kings Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through www.pplcenter.com/events (direct link HERE).

Photo: Hosanna Rull/iRULL FOTOS

Russell: ‘I’m going to show on February 8 why none of the other champions want to face me’

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his 126-pound crown against unbeaten mandatory challenger Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar Saturday, February 8 live on SHOWTIME from PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see former world champions Guillermo Rigondeaux and Liborio Solís battle for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title in the co-main event. The telecast opens with Jaime Arboleda meeting Jayson Veléin a 12-round bout WBA Super Featherweight Title eliminator.

The main event showdown will see Russell make the fifth defense of his title as he looks to again display the skills and speed that have made him one of the elite featherweight fighters in the world. He will be challenged by the 2012 Olympic silver medalist “King Tug”, who quickly rose up the rankings facing quality opposition throughout his 11-fight career.

The Capitol Heights, Maryland native Russell (30-1, 18 KOs) has held his WBC Featherweight Title since 2015 when he stopped multiple division champion Jhonny Gonzalez to emphatically capture the belt. The 31-year-old is part of one of boxing’s premier fighting families as he is trained by his father Gary Sr., and trains alongside his younger brothers, unbeaten super lightweight Gary Antuanne and undefeated bantamweight Antonio. Russell most recently stopped former champion Kiko Martinez in May on SHOWTIME after previously defeating then unbeaten challenger Joseph Diaz Jr in 2018 in a hometown defense.

“I’m forced to defend my title against another mandatory challenger, and I’m going to show on February 8 why none of the other champions want to face me,” said Russell. “I’m the longest current reigning WBC champion but no one has stepped up to the challenge I present. I’m going to take care of business against a strong opponent and display all my skills like I always do.”

The 27-year-old Nyambayar (11-0, 9 KOs) represented his native Mongolia in the 2012 Olympics but now lives in the U.S. and is training out of Las Vegas. Nyambayar ascended up the featherweight rankings after his extensive amateur career with victories over then unbeaten Harmonito Dela Torre and former interim champion Oscar Escandon. Most recently he won his first 12-round decision by defeating former champion Claudio Marrero in January.

“This is going to be an exciting fight for everyone watching on February 8,” said Nyambayar. “Gary Russell Jr. is a great champion who is very talented, but he has the WBC belt and that’s what I want. I’m training hard to win this fight and I will be ready for anything that Russell brings to the ring.”

Rigondeaux (19-1, 13 KOs) will look to move down and capture a title in a second weight class in his SHOWTIME debut.  Since turning professional in 2009 after one of the best amateur careers in history, Rigondeaux has showcased masterful technical skills that made him a unified 122-pound world champion and perennial member of the pound-for-pound list. A two-time Olympic gold medalist for his native Cuba, Rigondeaux made his name with victories over the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rico Ramos and Joseph Agbeko. Most recently, Rigondeaux scored an exciting eighth-round stoppage of former champion Julio Ceja in June.

Born in Venezuela and fighting out of Panama, Solís (30-5-1, 14 KOs) will make his U.S. debut on February 8 while riding a five-fight winning streak. Solís captured a super flyweight world title in 2013 amidst a 14-bout unbeaten run. He has lost by decision in his two previous attempts at 118-pound title, including a controversial loss to Jamie McDonnell, which he has bounced back from on his current win streak.

Arboleda (15-1, 13 KOs) has ripped off five straight victories by stoppage since he suffered the only loss of his career against Recky Dulay in 2017. The 25-year-old Arboleda from Curundu, Panama will be fighting in the U.S. for the third time in his career. He’s coming off a knockout victory over Victor Betancourt on August 24.

The 31-year-old Veléz (29-5-1, 21 KOs) has strung together three straight knockout victories since losing to Ryan Garcia in 2018. The Juncos, Puerto Rico resident is coming off a knockout victory over Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez on July 27 and is looking for another championship opportunity. He came up short in his previous attempt when he fought to a draw against Evgeny Gradovich for the featherweight world title in 2014.

Gary Russell Jr.-Kiko Martinez added to Wilder-Breazeale card

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former world champion Kiko Martinez in the co-feature to Wilder vs. Breazeale on Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heraldez squaring-off against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round attraction. The event is headlined by WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he makes the ninth defense of his title against mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale.

The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make the fourth defense of his featherweight world title on May 18 and his second career appearance at Barclays Center. Russell won his title by knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015. After stopping Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon, he most recently defeated previously unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jr. last May. Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals.

A native of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain, Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) has faced the best names in and around the featherweight division throughout his career. He won a super bantamweight world title in 2013 by stopping Jhonatan Romero and has faced the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last four contests, including most recently defeating Marc Vidal for a European featherweight title in October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaz on Russell: ‘He’s probably the fastest fighter I’ve seen'(VIDEO)

Gary Russell Jr. has great hand speed, and that great hand speed was on full display on Saturday night against Joseph Diaz Jr.  Russell retained his WBC featherweight title as he beat Diaz by unanimous decision at MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

For Diaz, Russell presented many problems, but it was Russell’s hand speed that gave Diaz the most problems.

“He’s probably the fastest fighter I’ve seen,” Diaz(26-1, 14 KOs) said after suffering his first loss.

Diaz did some great work to the body, but Russell took over the second half of the fight. The final scorecards were 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111 all for Russell. Goforitradio.com scored the bout 117-11 for Russell.

Listen below as Diaz talks about Russell’s speed, what went wrong, and more:

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME