Gary Russell Jr. will finally get a chance to showcase his talent against some decent opposition. The WBO has named Russell the number one contender for the vacant title. This is all due to the fight that happened over the weekend between Orlando Salido vs. Vasyl Lomanchenko. Since Salido was victorious in the bout his next opponent might be none other than Mr. Russell Jr. Gary is quick and explosive but hasn’t fought anybody worth mentioning. He has been a mile ahead of his competitors in all of his recent fights.
His followers are losing interest because he has yet to develop from a prospect into a contender. I’m a DMV native who actually had the pleasure of seeing Gary train and I can definitely say that hard work runs in his family. Gary comes from a fighting family of seven boys who are all trained by Gary Russell Sr. They train late at night but they push their bodies to the limit and focus intently on their craft.
Gary is promoted by Golden Boy but has been very inactive and the boxing public has yet to see a signature win from Gary. He has been heavily criticized due to his soft level of opposition. If he can get the ball rolling on this fight for the WBO title I expect more big fights to start coming his way. With speed like Russell’s it is hard to imagine him not becoming a star in his division. His speed is the reason people believed that Gary just might be the next big thing in the featherweight division.
People need to see more activity from the Capitol Heights, MD Native and we also need his level of opposition to go up. I don’t know if Golden Boy is holding Gary back or if Gary himself is opting to be inactive, but I do know one thing Gary needs a big year in 2014 in order to stay in good standing with fight fans. I hope 2014 will be the year he shines because he is a hometown fighter for me and we have so much talent in the DMV area that needs to be highlighted. I have no doubt that once Gary gets into bigger fights it will bring out the best in him.
He is extremely talented and humble and these are key ingredients into creating a star in boxing. Gary is a gym rat so it’s not weight problems that are holding him back it’s just a matter of securing him fights. One hiccup that he may encounter is that Salido and Lomanchenko are both promoted by Top Rank; unfortunately Top Rank is in a cold war with Gary’s promotional team Golden Boy. Top Rank and Golden Boy need to come to their senses soon because they will be missing out on big opportunities and hurt their fans in the process if they refuse to work together. I hope Gary stays unaffected by this and we can get some big fights soon.