Russell Out-powers Escandon
Gary Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KO) successfully retained his WBC featherweight title over Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KO), winning the bout via seventh-round TKO at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
"I’d like to tell all the fans that came to support me: I love you all. Thank you," Russell said after the fight. "I fought a tough competitor. I knew Escandon wanted to come and bring his best. I knew he was going to come forward. I was ready for him. We are warriors."
Russell, a 2008 Olympian who was fighting his first bout in about 16 months, came out firing in the first round, but credit goes to Escandon for staying in there and applying pressure. Russell continued his barrage in the second round, and he managed to knock Escandon down early on in the third.
Escandon tried battling back again, showing some signs of hope by utilizing his speed in an attempt to counter Russell’s pure punching power. But Russell did not stop, and in the seventh round, Russell scored another knockdown and the referee quickly stopped the bout.
Russell landed 198 of 508 shots, while Escandon landed 110 of 558.
"I knew that Gary was going to go fast from the first to the fifth round, and it was part of my strategy to let him do that and get tired. It didn’t work, unfortunately," Escandon said. "Now we need to go back to the drawing board to rest and see what my manager has planned for me."
Russell may be next aiming for a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko, who Russell lost to back in 2014.