Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Russell title defense March 11 postponed due to Escandon injury

Photo by: Naoki Fukuda

Gary Russell Jr., who hasn’t fought in nearly a year and never in his home region, will have to wait a bit longer to showcase his impressive talents.

Russell, the WBC featherweight champion, was scheduled to face secondary titleholder Oscar Escandon on March 11 but a back injury to Escandon, which he sustained in training, has postponed the card for a later date, promoter Tom Brown confirmed to on Tuesday afternoon. Jermell Charlo was also penciled in to defend his junior middleweight title against mandatory challenger Charles Hatley in the co-feature of a Showtime-televised doubleheader at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, close to Capitol Heights, Maryland, where Russell is from.

“We’re working on that now between Showtime and the property to reschedule the card,” Brown told RING. “Hopefully, in the next few days we’ll have something sorted out. Right now the idea is to keep the whole card together (with the Russell-Escandon and Charlo-Hatley fights) and just reschedule it.”

Russell (27-1, 16 knockouts) hasn’t fought since he easily stopped Patrick Hyland in two rounds in April of last year. Colombia’s Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) knocked out Robinson Castellanos in the seventh round in his last fight in March of last year after he lost a split decision to Moises Flores in 2015. Houston’s Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) won the vacant WBC title with a stunning eighth-round knockout of John Jackson last May. Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) hasn’t entered the ring since he stopped Athony Mundine in the 11th round in November of 2015. Russell’s younger brother, the 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell was also set to make his pro debut on March 11.