Russell Jr. retains title with hard-fought decision over Nyambayer
By Bill Tibbs
It was championship boxing, live from the PPL Centre in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Saturday night on the ShowTime Network.
In the main event, Gary Russlell Jr. was facing Tugsysogt Nyambayar in the 5th defense of Russell’s WBC world featherweight title.
In the semi-main it was former WBA world super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux going up against Liborio Solis in a bid for the WBA bantamweight title.
Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KO’s) kept his WBC Featherweight title with a hard-fought UD 12 over Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KO’s). Nyambayar appeared to be the heavier puncher but Russell Jr used all of his ring generalship, experience and faster, cleaner combinations to outwork the on-coming, aggressive Mongolian. All three judges scored in favour of Russell Jr - 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110.
After the fight, Russell said, “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”.
If Russell Jr. wants to expand his brand, he needs to fight more often and get the exposure due a long reigning champion - he is currently operates on a 1-fight per year schedule.
Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KO’s) dropped former super flyweight champion Liborio Solis (30-6-1, 14 KO’s) along his way to picking up the WBA world bantamweight title by SD 12.
One judge saw it 115-112 for Solis, but the other two officials had it for Rigondeaux by scores of 115-112 and 116-111.
Although Rigondeaux showed some sharp counter punches and did score a knockdown, it was mostly the old style of jab and move that won the fight for now 2-time world champion. The boo birds were out long and loud during the fight (and after the fight during the post-fight interview) as Rigo will never be confused with Arturo Gatti or Micky Ward in the action department. So, while his style isn’t popular, he is vastly talented and is now a 2-time world champion.
After the fight, Rigo gave props to his trainer, Ronnie Shields and said he is looking for anyone in the division.
“Our team is with me more than their own families. This isn’t just my victory, but it’s a victory for me whole team to get me this win at this age. Liborio is an excellent fighter, but I saw the opportunity to strike and scored the knockdown. Ronnie Shields is the real champion. The preparation that he gave me for this fight was incredible. Ronnie is one of the best. I’m available for anyone who wants to get in the ring. Who do the fans want to see me fight? I’m ready for any fighter. Now that I’m at my weight, let’s go hunting.”
Under card action.
*Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KO’s) SD 10 Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (29-6-1, 21 KO’s)
*Martino Jules (9-0, 2 KO’s) TKO 1 Pablo Cupul (10-31, 5 KOs)
*Jamontay Clark (15-1-1, 7 KO’s) UD 8 Anthony Lenk (16-7, 7 KO’s).
*Gary Antuanne Russell (13-0, 13KO’s) TKO 1 Jose Marrufo (12-10-2, 1 KO).
*Jonathan Rodriguez (8-0, 3 KO’s) UD 6 Edson Eduardo Neri (3-5, 2 KOs)
*Gary Antonio Russell (17-0, 13 KO’s) DQ 6 Jesus “Sargento” Martinez (27-11, 13 KOs).
*Rajon Chance (1-0, 1 KO) KO 1 Joseph Quintana (0-3)
*Speaking of champions - this fight wrap-up is dedicated to the memory of former Minnesota middleweight Bobby “Iceman” Coolidge who passed suddenly this week at age 67. Coolidge, 23-1-1 (17 KO’s) fought Bobby Czyz and Tony Sibson in his career. Rest in Peace, Champ!