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Schaefer confirms: Russell Jr. returns on Aug. 9

Fighters Network
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Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has confirmed an earlier report by RingTV.com that unbeaten featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. will return to action on the Aug. 9 undercard of a heavyweight bout between Deontay Wilder and Sergei Liakhovich. The fight will be televised on Showtime from The Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, Calif.

“Gary Russell it looks like will be fighting on Aug. 9 on the Wilder-Liakhovich card, and I think that it’s going to be a tuneup, because there was really no big name available, and it’s going to be stay-sharp fight,” said Schaefer.

“After that, he wants to challenge one of the world champions. We are currently looking into two names who are world champions, but I’m not going to go into detail about who they are, but Gary Russell will fight this year for a world title.”

Russell (22-0, 13 knockouts) said that he is recovering well after having suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand in his last bout, a unanimous decision over Vyacheslav Gusev in March. Russell, 25, said that he would like to pursue the winner of an Oct. 12 bout between Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz and Mexico’s Orlando Salido for the WBO’s vacant belt.

After facing the Cruz-Salido winner, Russell said he would then perhaps pursue WBC titleholder Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs), a three-division beltwinner with whom he has recently engaged in an online dialogue.

Russell has said that it would “be so easy” to defeat Mares, who responded that Russell “hasn’t fought any A-level fighters.”

Photo by Scott Heavey, Gettyimages

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]