Gary Russell Jr. will return to action on Nov. 14. | Esther Lin/Showtime
WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. is set to make the first defense of his title when he takes on Oscar Escandón on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas. Showtime will televise the bout, which will be held at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Russell captured the title in March when he destroyed Jhonny Gonzalez, dropping him thrice whilst taking him out in the fourth. Russell (26-1, 15 KOs) said he knows how tough his next foe will be and that he has to be at his best against the rugged Colombian.
“It’s going to take all of my skills and my whole arsenal to defend my belt,” the Maryland resident saidt. “Escandón is a strong, durable fighter with a lot of power. I will have to be on my A-game and I believe I will be able to showcase my skills when I get in the ring.”
Escandón (24-2, 16 KOs) is coming off a 12-round decision loss to Moises Flores in April. Before that, he won a highly controversial decision over Tyson Cave on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights that sparked outrage across the boxing community. Still, Escandón, who is moving up from junior featherweight for this duel, expects to do well against the American champ.
“I feel strong going into this fight,” Escandón stated. “Moving up to featherweight has given me the added weight to be at my full strength. I’ve been training hard with Ruben Guerrero, who’s been doing a great job preparing me for Russell’s southpaw attack. I guarantee that I’m going to make it a rough fight.”
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