Sports

Gary Russell Jr. Returns To Defend WBC Title Next Saturday

Gary Russell Jr. returns to the boxing ring to defend his WBC championship next Saturday night live on Showtime.

Gary Russell Jr. puts his title on the line next Saturday night.

Russell will defend his WBC featherweight championship against Mark Magsayo. The event takes place from Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The card, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, airs live on Showtime.

“I use everything going on with me outside of the ring as fuel. It’s been very difficult dealing with the passing of my brother and my dad’s health issues,” Russell said. “I tell people all the time that life is like boxing. You have to keep your chin down and hands up. I’m grateful that I’m mentally strong when it comes to stuff like this. This is what champions do, we overcome adversity.”

The 33-year-old from Washington, D.C. has gone 31-1 in his career with 18 knockouts. Last February, he topped Tugstsogt Nyambayar to defend his title for the fifth time.

Russell won the belt in 2015 with a finish of Jhonny Gonzalez. His lone career loss came in 2014 against Vasily Lomachenko via majority decision.

“I’ve been willing to compete against whoever, whenever and wherever. But I can’t force these guys to get in the ring and fight me. I just have to prepare to the best of my ability. I need a dance partner,” Russell said. “I stay in the gym. Boxing is not just what I do, it’s a lifestyle for me. Even when I’m over and done with my career, I’m still going to be in the gym. I never really blow up and get big in weight. I love what I do and I’m very militant in my mindset.

“No one can really prepare for me. You can’t prepare like you think you can. I know Magsayo will be at his physical and mental best. I take my hat off to him, because he’s willing to put it on the line to prove he’s the best. I wish other fighters would take that same risk.”

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