Gary Russell Jr. to face Christopher Martin on Saturday
Russell (24-1, 14 knockouts) will attempt to rebound from a majority decision loss to fellow southpaw Vasyl Lomachenko, whose triumph earned the vacant WBO belt in June. Martin (28-4-3, 9 KOs) is 5-4-1 over the course of his last 10 fights and was last in action for a sixth round knockout loss to Miguel Marriaga in October.
The fights are being promoted by Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions.
“My thoughts on my last performance is that [Lomachenko] had better not fight me again. He better not ever fight me again. Honestly, a lot of that came from this small incident that happened within the camp that no one really even knew about,” said Russell, 26, who declined to provide more detail to RingTV.com.
“Honestly, it was something that we never even wanted to bring up. But you’ve never seen me with no hand speed, with no power, no anything. I was tired in the first round. We’re just focusing on the future, man. Everybody has got steppingstones and building blocks and we were just back in they gym on Monday as usual.”
Russell craves a rematch with Lomachenko down the line or else, he’ll rise in weight.
“As of now, all we’re looking to do is to line ourselves up to compete for another world title, and then, hopefully, try to unify with Lomachenko if he’s willing to take the fight. If not, then fine; we’re willing to move on up in weight and make something happen at a different weight class. For now, I’ll stay in the weight division that I’m in. I’m thinking that maybe one or two more fights in my future and then maybe we’ll move up in weight class,” said Russell.
“I’m thinking maybe two, three fights from now, hopefully I’ll move up in weight, depending on how things go. God willing, we’ll get through this fight and try to make our next one a title shot. Hopefully we can be lined up for a title shot after this one and if that happens, the first thing that I want to do after that is unify with Lomachenko. That’s something that would keep me in this weight division. But if not, then I’ll move up. Most definitely.”
Russell-Martin will serve as the co-feature to the fight between Cuellar and Tamayo, to be preceded in order by those matching super middleweights Julius Jackson and Jonathan Nelson, followed by Philadelphia’s Julian Williams in a junior middleweight bout against Jamar Freeman.
Freeman is a late replacement for Mexico’s Edgar Ortega, who withdrew due to an injury.
“I’m just putting this work in,” said Russell, ” and realistically speaking, my end objective is change the end objective and that’s to win convincingly. What happens after that, we’ll have to see.”
The Russell-Martin fight will be televised in place of a canceled bout between lightweight Anthony Peterson and Yakubu Amido, according to a Showtime release.