Russell retains WBC featherweight title

By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside

Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs) retained his WBC Featherweight title with a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision victory over Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Sho Russell Vs Nyambayar Allentown Fight Night Westcott 102
Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

It was a classic sharpshooter versus Puncher. Nyambayar was the heavier puncher and made many of the rounds hard to call, but Russell Jr took over the in the later rounds using his ring generalship and swifter combinations to outwork the aggressive and harder-hitting Mongolian. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Gary Russell Jr by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110.

Gary Russell Jr: “We put the work in every day in the gym. 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

“The difference was ring generalship, hand speed and boxing IQ. He only had 11 pro fights, of course he was an Olympic silver medalist, but he only had those 11 pro fights. I’ve had over 30 and I think my experience was enough to overcome and win this fight.

“We never take a day off. 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.”

Tugstsogt Nyambayar: “It wasn’t my night. 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.  I want to thank the Mongolian fans for coming out tonight and I’m grateful to everyone in Mongolia.”

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  • Very entertaining fight. Nyambayar needs a better corner and more experience. Tonight he proved to be belong to the group of top guys at featherweight. I might be wrong, but I saw a chink on Russell’s armour. Could be age? Inactivity?
    I think Russell Jr. should forget Santa Cruz (cab drivers fighter) and try to get a fight against Shakur Stevenson or Miguel Berchelt., but soon, because he is getting older

  • Aside from JoJo Diaz, Russell has never beat anyone, and has only taken a risk once (Loma). A mini booboo, a bore to watch, no punching power. And an ego that can’t fit through a doorway. A loser card by SHo with Russell and Rigo, both boring, please come with something exciting next time.

  • Russels corner man rodrigo Mosquera was allegedly to have tampering with gloves in California why would they License this type of guy ???!!! Gary Russell is too good of a fighter to have that in his corner

  • Russell says he’s one of the longest reigning champions and he’s right. One can argue it’s because he’s only fought once a year for the last half decade. I would like to see him in against someone other than a light hitting opponent like Leo Santa Cruz. Take out, or win a boring decision against a big puncher and let the fans climb aboard.

  • Russell’s offense looked slower and more stagnant in this fight. Looks like age and inactivity is slowly creeping up on him. I want to thank Showtime for atleast putting fights on and carrying on the tradition of keeping us entertained. HBO’s fate was met when newer and younger managers came on board and felt boxing was not a good investment for them and it was dying off.

  • It’s time to forget about Santa Cruz. He ain’t gonna fight you Russell Jr. Either move to 130 and go after Berchelt or Valdez, or go to 135 and take on Davis, Haney or push for Lomachenko there. Guys who depend on speed and reflexes (especially smaller fighters) start losing those attributes before 30 and you have already peaked. Any one of these fights are not gimme’s but at least you would have another respectable name on your resume’. Sitting around waiting isn’t getting it done otherwise you might want to consider retirement.

  • Mr. Russell why wait a year between each fight. You can wait 2 years and as far as the fans are concerned you will not be missed. You are a fighter that thinks somebody will want to see you every year, but if you fight every 2 years it will be the same thing, because really no one gives a damn with your style of fighting. Showtime found a way of featuring 2 fighters that are as exciting as watching the paint dry. Maybe Russell and Rigo can fight each other with a new title on the line, who is the best snorefest fighter in the world. Who in this world would pay two cents to watch either of these guys?
    What a waste of time.

  • “Longest reigning champ for a reason.” Yeah that reason is cause u doin like Stevenson did and are holding the belt hostage. Fight more than once a year against more than just your mandos. U say your the best at the weight prove it unify or fight a REAL GUY.

    • I take it you haven’t been following Boxing for that long. Fighters dont get to just pick who they’re gonna fight. Russel jr. has been ducked by the top fighters for years. The guys that you’ll complain about not fighting the best is because they are ducked. You cant have it both ways.

      • Ray Leonard didn’t have trouble getting the top fighters to fight him. All you have to do is be an exciting fighter that pulls in the fans, then the other guys will risk fighting you because the pay day is so big.

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