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Gary Russell Jr wants Tank Davis after Mark Magsayo fight


By Allan Fox: WBA World featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr says he wants to fight Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in his next contest after he takes care of Mark Magsayo this Saturday night on February 22, at the Borgata Hotel Casino, Atlantic City

Russell (31-1-1, 18 KOs) believes that a fight against Tank Davis would be significant due to his popularity. There would be good money for Russell Jr. to make should he get the fight with Tank.

However, Russell will likely need to move up two weight divisions to make that fight happen because Tank is too big to drain down to 126.

Russell is coming off of a two-year break against #1 WBC Magsayo (23-0,16 KOs) this Saturday in the main event on SHOWTIME.

Typically, Russell Jr. fights on an annual basis, but in this case, he’s coming off a two-year layoff. He’s had some issues that have kept him inactive, so you can’t fault him.

Russell Jr. wants Gervonta

“I would like to fight Gervonta,” Gary Russell Jr. said to DAZN News. “I think he has the bigger name with the bigger platform and much bigger presence because of his promoter Floyd Mayweather.

Gary Russell Jr. boxing photo and news image

“Let’s not get it twisted,”  Russell continued. “It’s not because of Gervonta; it’s because of Floyd. I think he has the bigger platform. He has more a reach, so that would be one of the fights that we definitely won’t.”

“Gary Russell Jr. returns to the ring this weekend for his annual title defense. Russell has been a featherweight champion since 2015 when he beat Jhonny Gonzalez, but he’s only defended that belt five times since then and has not been in the ring since 2020,” said Chris Mannix on JABS on DAZN.

“Russell says he wants to fight multiple times in 2022, but at 33-years-old is it too late for Russell to live up to his potential?”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been protective of Tank Davis, and he may block that fight with Russell to ensure he doesn’t get beaten.

Is it too late for Russell to realize his potential?

“No, it’s not too late for him live up because he’s that gifted, he’s that damn good, he’s been around,” said Sergio Mora about Russell  Jr. “The last ten years 126 has been Gary Russell’s weight division.

“He’s been one of the longest-reigning champions. He’s an Olympian and has some of the fastest hands in boxing.

“He’s an exciting fighter to watch, and he has some exciting wins under his belt. Jojo Diaz, Kiko Martinez, so he’s still one of the best out there. We don’t see him enough. He’s like a holiday. He comes around once a year, and then he fights and ‘Okay, we’ll see you next year, Gary.’

“That’s not enough to keep the interest of boxing fans. Not fighting in 2021 really hurt him, and he’s going to come back and fight three times in 365 days? I don’t believe you, man.

“I don’t believe you,” said Mora in expressing doubt that Russell Jr. will fight three times in 2022.

It probably is too late for 33-year-old Russell Jr. to realize his potential because he’s only been fighting once a year since 2015, and in 2021, he didn’t fight at all.

Russell can’t make up for the last seven years, so it’s not realistic for him to try and make up for lost time.

Gary Jr. must stay busy

“I talked to Gary last week, and he’s a fascinating character. He’s incredibly talented, but his inactivity is bizarre,” said Mannix of Russell Jr.

Gary Russell Jr. boxing photo and news image

“I asked him, ‘Gary, what do you do with your time?’ ‘I’m always in the gym, working out, and I work with other fighters.’ I’m,  ‘Alright, well, that takes a few hours a day. What else do you do?”I go hunting.’

“He goes hunting in his backyard on his estate, all over the mid-Eastern, mid-Atlantic parts of the east coast. So, apparently, that satisfies him for his time.

“I do think there’s a way for him to become that pound-for-pound guy that he looked like he was becoming back in 2015. He has to be active and has to follow the pathways out there for him.

“So, he has a fight coming up this weekend [against Mark Magsayo].  If he wins, why not take on Leo Santa Cruz? Leo Santa Cruz is going to fight in a few weeks at 130 lbs.

“He’s already declared that he’s going to go back to 126 to reclaim his versions of the titles.  A Russell-Santa Cruz fight should be very easy to make. Both of these guys are affiliated with PBC,  and it would be a monster. That would be a legitimate pay-per-view that PBC could put on.”

It might not be possible for Russell Jr. to fight two to three times in 2022 because he will likely suffer an injury during the fight or camp.

Russell Jr. is already talking about having a small injury that he’s bringing with him for his fight this Saturday against Magsayo on Showtime.

Russell Jr. should move up to 130 soon

“After that, you could start looking up to 130 lbs at some of the challenges that would be out there,” said Mannix about Russell Jr. “You would have to do some cross-promotional stuff, but wouldn’t a Gary Russell, a unified champion at 126 against Shakur Stevenson, or an Oscar Valdez? Wouldn’t that be a huge fight?”

It’s unlikely that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would be willing to Russell Jr. anywhere near Oscar Valdez or Shakur Stevenson. While Arum should let either of them take on Russell, he likely won’t because he’s not going to want to see either get potentially beaten.

We’ll likely see the winner of the Valdez vs. Stevenson fight battle Emanuel Navarrete in an in-house Top Rank promoted fight. Russell Jr. isn’t with Top Rank, so he’ll be out of luck,

“So, I do think Russell can get there, but I think he’s going to have to really commit and get his handlers to really commit to putting him back in the ring with big names,” said Mannix.

“I agree with you. I interviewed Gary Russell Jr,” said Mora. “We did a commenting gig one time. He’s a very smart and articulate guy, and he’s about business. He always tells me he has other business ventures.

“He’s prizefighting for the money. He gets the money and runs and does other things with his time,  but he’s that damn good. When he comes back, he can win.

“A fight with Leo Santa Cruz, this is two of the best fighters out there.  They’re very popular. Leo Santa Cruz, he’s expecting to make a lot of money [on February 5th against Keenan Carbajal], even though he’s coming off a loss [to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis].

“Gary Russell Jr, every time he comes back, it’s for a high six figures, low seven figures.  They can make a lot of money, and it’s an easy fight to make. Yeah, count me in on that one,” said Mora.

A fight between Russell Jr. and Leo Santa Cruz is unrealistic because Leo has never shown any interest in fighting him.

Years ago, Russell jr had this strange video clip posted of him talking to Santa Cruz’s dad and saying that he could touch him any time he wanted. Even after that, Santa Cruz chose not to fight Russell Jr.




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