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Russell Jr.-Miranda slated for Zaveck-Berto card on Sept. 3

Fighters Network

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. of Capitol Heights, Md., will meet fellow southpaw Leonilo Miranda of Mexico on the Andre BertoJan Zaveck undercard Sept. 3 in Biloxi, Miss., on HBO, Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez told

The fight was also confirmed by Russell's father and trainer, Gary Russell Sr. Russell-Miranda will be the first televised bout.

The 23-year-old Russell Jr. (17-0, 10 knockouts) is coming off an eight-round unanimous-decision rout of Eric Estrada on the undercard of Amir Khan's fifth-round KO of Zab Judah last month.

"We finalized it last night. [Promoter] Gary Shaw has a kid who is named Leonilo Miranda. He's 32-3, with 30 knockouts," said Gomez. "We want to show everybody what Gary's got, so it's going to be the opener on HBO underneath Berto's fight."

The 28-year-old Miranda (32-3, 32 KOs) started his career 30-0 (with 28 knockouts) but is 2-3 in his last fight fights, including a split-decision loss to Luis Franco (10-0, 6 KOs) in his most-recent outing, in February.

The elder Russell said that his son was given the option of fighting Miranda and another fighter.

"They sent us a list of guys to fight, and Gary chose the rougher of the two opponents that they had," said Gary Russell Sr. "The guy is a southpaw whose record speaks pretty much for itself. We're going to fight, regardless. The second guy was a Cuban Olympian."

Up until now, said Gary Russell Sr., his son had been focusing his training on the prospect of facing a right-handed opponent.

The short turnaround could be challenging, said the elder Russell.

"Unfortunately, we were supposed to fight a different opponent, but he didn't sign the contract," he said. "We had been sparring with conventional sparring partners."

Zaveck (31-1, 18 KOs) defends his IBF welterweight title against Berto (27-1, 21 knockouts) in the main event.


Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]