Russell talks about moving up to 135 to chase some of the more notable fights out there.
Fresh off his decision win in Showtime’s main event over the weekend, Gary Russell Jr talks a little bit about the fight and looking to jump to 135lbs to seek out some big names, including Gervonta Davis. Check out some excerpts below…
Russell on his thoughts on his win or Nyambayar:
“It was definitely the kind of fight I expected. I knew I was fighting a tough competitor, you know, he had everything to gain and nothing to lose. He brought his physical best, we knew he was gonna be strong, but I felt like my hand speed, my ring generalship. my boxing intellect would ultimately overcome this fight — that’s exactly what happened. I kept a jab in his face, he couldn’t get past it. On the back half of the fight I told myself I was gonna lock my hands up and start walking forward and start pressing the action, dictating the action, and that’s exactly what we did.”
On how he’d rate Nyambayar as an opponent:
“I mean he was definitely one of the better fighters that I competed against. I feel like he would give any of these guys in the upper echelon a run for their money. He was definitely good, just like a JoJo Diaz. I take my hat off to JoJo Diaz. I think if (Nyambayar) is to stay focused he will become a world champion just like JoJo Diaz did.”
On if this was his last fight at 126lbs:
“Hell yeah! Unless Leo (Santa Cruz) gonna come see me at 126. But other than that I’ll meet him at 130. I mean I don’t plan on moving to 130, I wanted to jump straight to 135. I wanted to put myself in the weight division with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, I want a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko — I don’t want to do it for the fans, I don’t want to do it for the media, I want to do it for myself. I got too much integrity to just let something like that go. I gotta get back.
“I don’t feel like it’s nobody (at 130) that I want to compete against. The only reason I was going to go to 130 was because Tevin Farmer was one of the fighters that mentioned my name. I’m a real fighter, I’m a real champion, so I’ll answer the call to anybody. I got too much integrity…”
Of if he’s going to fight again in 2020:
“I mean we have to see if we can get one of these guys to get in the ring and compete against me. The only reason why you’ve been seeing me compete once a year is because, once again, I’ve been competing against all mandatory challengers, these guys with everything to gain and nothing to lose, and none of the champions was willing to come fight me. I have the most prestigious title in the sport of boxing, the WBC, why is it that none of the other champions want to get it?…That’s a issue.”
On how hard he expects it to be to jump up two weight classes to 135:
“I don’t think it’ll be challenging at all. I actually welcome it. I think the fact that I’ll be moving up to 135 a lot of these guys will feel as though they somewhat of an unfair advantage and at that point they’ll be willing to take the fight because no one’s willing to fight me right now.”
On wanting to fight Gervonta Davis but being dismissed as an opponent because he ‘can’t sell,’ and what it will take for that fight to happen:
“For (Davis) to grow some nuts. For his team to grow some cojones. Stop actin’ like a sucker, the sport of boxing is getting weak. A lot of the fighters are getting weak. I’ll answer the call to anybody. If somebody say they wanna fight me, I’m a man at the end of the day. We gonna fight! I don’t care if you 200lbs. If you say you want to fight me you better put your hands up because we gonna rumble. That’s just the type of individual that I am. I feel as a fighter that’s the type of attitude and mindset that you supposed to have as a fighter.
“What type of stuff is that to say ‘well I don’t want to fight him because it don’t sell’? You sound like a sucker. You sound like a sucker! You mean to tell me because I’m telling you I want to fight you, you picking and choosing who you want to fight?! Come on, man. I ain’t trying to hear that.”
On if that fight wouldn’t in actuality sell pretty well:
“Hell yeah it’ll sell! We don’t even have to put no titles on the line, we can do a charity event and everybody will come to that fight. So what he’s talking about don’t even make sense…”
On if he thinks Davis is a great fighter:
“Well I’m not gonna say he’s a great fighter. I do take my hat off to him because I watched him come up in the amateurs, I’m glad that he had the opportunity to provide a sense of financial stability for his family, friends, and all. But he definitely don’t have the skill set it takes to mess with me. That’s the reason he’s choosing and his team, Floyd and everybody else, choosing to keep him away from me. They handpick who they wanna fight, I don’t handpick who I fight. I fight whoever says they wanna fight me. Let’s make the fight happen.”