Russell Outpoints Nyambayar To Retain WBC Belt

In order to challenge the fighters he believes he deserves to face, Gary Russell Jr. needed to win bouts against mandatory challengers. In his annual return to the ring, Mr. Russell beat Tugstsogt Nyambayar via unanimous decision, 118-110, 116-112 and 117-111.

Inside the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, Russell (31-1) won his seventh fight in a row. It was also his fifth time defending the WBC Featherweight Title.

“We put the work in every day in the gym,” said Russell after the fight. “I’m a perfectionist. We knew we had a very tough opponent and I knew he was going to bring his physical best. He had everything to gain and nothing to lose. We just focused and showed I’m one of the longest-reigning champions for a reason.”

For Nyambayar (11-1), that was his first career loss since debuting in 2015.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Nyambayar. “He was the better man tonight. I didn’t do my work the way I was supposed to. He is a great champion who fought a great fight. I made a mistake by waiting for him during the fight. I’d love the rematch if I can get it.”

Russell managed to outpoint all aspects of Nyambayar’s game in the opening rounds. The 27-year-old Nyambayar knocked Russell down early in the first two rounds, but it was ruled a slip. Russell ended up using the jab to his advantage, while also hitting head and body combination shots.

Nyambayar, who has nine wins via knockout, attempted to use his power to give him the lead. Unfortunately for him, nothing landed until the later rounds. By round six, Nyambayar got an advantage, which was needed against the overall skill of Russell.

It was all Russell from that moment on, however, as his fast jabs shook Nyambayar up a bit. He hit a few more right hooks. The last two rounds saw both fighters just throwing away shots at one another until the final bell rang. According to CompuBox, Russell landed 134-of-867 punches compared to Nyambayar’s 122-of-707.

As far as what is next for Russell, he is hoping to face the top fighters within his division. He wants a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko, but is also hoping for fights against Leo Santa Cruz and Gervonta Davis.

“We never take a day off,” Russell went on to say. “I’ll probably be back in the gym next week. We’ll keep our wheels turning and stay sharp. If we have to move up in weight for these top fighters to feel like they have an advantage and take the fight, then we’ll do it.”

Main Card (9 p.m. ET, Showtime) 

Gary Russell Jr. (c) def. Tugstsogt Nyambayar via unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 118-110) – WBC Featherweight Title

Guillermo Rigondeaux def. Liborio Solis via split decision (116-111, 115-112, 112-115) – WBA Bantamweight Title

Jamie Arboleda def. Jayson Velez via split decision (114-113, 112-115, 114-113)

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