In the United States, coverage will be on Showtime. The broadcast, which will also include Liam Walsh vs. Gervonta Davis (from London, perhaps on a tape delay), Rances Barthelemy vs. Kiryl Relikh and Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui, starts at 6 p.m. ET, so Russell Jr. vs. Escandon should start sometime around 9 p.m. ET. If you can’t get to a TV, here’s a full rundown of your streaming options:
When Gary Russell Jr. talks boxing, it’s easy to imagine sitting in a college classroom, listening to your Boxing 101 professor opine on the sweet science.
Listen to Russell explain his WBC featherweight title fight Saturday in the main event at the MGM National Harbor against Oscar Escandon (Showtime, 6 p.m. ET). It’s his pro debut in his hometown, where he had turned down opportunities to fight until he was a world champion.
“I heard (my opponent) say he’d be ready for a war,” Russell said. “My father told me what creates a war is two fighters that didn’t have a Plan B. That’s the difference. That’s the X-factor. You have to have that versatility.
“The more intellectual fighter is most likely the one that wins the fight. Boxing is supposed to be called the sweet science. I feel as though it’s become a lost art. A lot of people are winning fights because they’re stronger, faster and better conditioned.”
He wasn’t finished.
“A friend of mine told me that boxing is intellect manifested in a physical form,” he said. “That’s what makes the difference between a good fighter and a great fighter. The level of intellect.”
Russell has the intellect, and much more. The former U.S. Olympian (27-1, 16 KOs) has what many experts describe as the fastest hands in boxing, as well as underrated power.