Friday, March 31, 2023  |


Russell’s next defense to be paired with Kell Brook or Gervonta Davis bouts

Photo by: Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

Gary Russell Jr. will likely have some high-powered on-air company the next time he fights.

Russell’s next bout against his mandatory Oscar Escandon will probably take place on either May 20 or May 27 from the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Showtime boxing head Stephen Espinoza told in an email. Since Showtime is already broadcasting Gervonta Davis’ junior lightweight defense against Liam Walsh in London on May 20, Espinoza is considering whether to pair that fight with Russell-Escandon as a Showtime double-header, Espinoza said.

However, if Russell’s bout is moved to May 27, then he could double-up with Kell Brook’s welterweight title defense against Errol Spence Jr. in another Showtime double-header since the network is also airing Brook-Spence on May 27. Russell (27-1, 16 knockouts) was originally supposed to face Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) on March 11 but those plans were scuttled after Escandon suffered a back injury in training.

Jermell Charlo was penciled in to defend his 154-pound belt against Charles Hatley on that card. But that fight has been shifted to April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the co-feature to the welterweight title eliminator between Shawn Porter and Andre Berto. The talented Russell hasn’t fought since he knocked out Patrick Hyland in two rounds last April.