Russell Jr. calls out Gervonta Davis & Santa Cruz
By Kenneth Friedman: WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. says he’s about given up on getting a unification fight against WBA 126-pound champion Leo Santa Cruz, and he says he’s going to move up to 130 to go after champions Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Miguel Berchelt. Russell Jr. states that he would like to fight Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton at featherweight, but he doesn’t think either of them will take then fight with him.
(Photo credit: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions)
Russell Jr. will be defending his WBC title this Saturday night against #3 WBC Kiko Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) in the co-feature bout on the Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale card on Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The action begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Russell Jr. wants Tank Davis to face him
“Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, I’m on your ass. Leo Santa Cruz, I’m on your ass,” Russell Jr. said. “I’m keeping my foot on their necks. Baltimore, you’re supposed to be known for all the gangsters. He’s [Gervonta] making you look bad. I’m talking about Tank. He’s making you look like clowns. You might want to tell him to step up. Tell him to come see me, and stop letting Floyd [Mayweather] control his career and treating like he’s a fragile package on Amazon. People ask me why I’m competing once a year. It’s not because of me. It’s because they’re not willing to get into the ring with me. I have to defend my title once a year anyway. All of those guys don’t want to step into the ring. I wanted Leo Santa Cruz. I wanted Carl Frampton. I want any of those other guys are are world champions. I want Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis,” Russell Jr. said.
Russell Jr. needs to move up already and go after the likes of Berchelt and Gervonta if he’s serious about wanting to them. After 10 years as a pro, it would seem obvious by this point that Russell won’t be getting a fight against Frampton and Santa Cruz. There’s no point in Russell waiting around for those guys. If they wanted to fight Russell Jr., they woud have done so by now. At least moving up to 130 will give Russell a shot at getting fights against Berchelt, Davis, Tevin Farmer, Andrew Cancio and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Russell Jr. lost to Lomachenko in 2014. Russell Jr. says he wasn’t 100 percent for that fight. Once Lomachenko moves back down to super featherweight, there’s no reason why he and Russell shouldn’t face each other in a rematch. Berchelt should be Russell’s first target, because he’s already at 130, and he holds the WBC title. If Russell can beat Berchelt, then Top Rank would likely want to put Lomachenko back in with him.
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