Beltway-area native Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs) held a workout at The Enigma Boxing Club in Capital Heights, MD on Tuesday as he prepares for his bout on November 14 on Showtime against Colombia’s Oscar Escandón (24-2, 16 KOs) from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
GARY RUSSELL JR.:
“Training camp is going great, we’re right on course. There was a minor hiccup in the camp because I was supposed to fight on Oct. 24. I started sparring, but once the fight got pushed back to November 14 I cut the sparring off. I didn’t want to peak too early.
“Today (Tuesday) was my first day back sparring again. I’m working on my timing, ring generalship and lateral movement. We’re right on course.
“Oscar Escandon is strong and durable. He comes straight forward. If his corner was smart they would try to take away my hand speed which will be a big factor in the fight. He’ll need to close the distance, smother my punches so speed isn’t a factor.
“We are working on becoming just as comfortable fighting on the outside as I am fighting on the inside.
“A lot of fighters are one-dimensional. We are trying to make that diamond shine on all sides.
“I know that I will be victorious without a doubt. Anyone that you get in the ring with these small, 8-ounce gloves always has a possibility of creating an upset whether he’s a big puncher or not. It only takes one shot. It’s the fighters’ job to take away that opportunity.
“I’m excited to fight, period. I don’t even think about this fight being a title defense. It takes a certain type of mental toughness and psychological strength to get in the ring and perform. Anyone who gets in the ring against me is a champion in my eyes.
“It’s been about seven months since I fought. I’m always anxious to get back in the ring.
“If I get past Escandon I would love to fight Leo Santa Cruz, we fought in the amateurs. But we never underestimate any opponent and we are focused on getting this fight out of the way first. Lee Selby is another guy that we’re looking at. Of course Abner Mares, even though he lost, would be a great fight. These are the type of guys that we’d like to fight.
“Having my family with me during training camp means everything to me. It’s where I get my energy from. A lot of guys feel like they have to get away for training camp, but I don’t have to leave home. My family is the driving force behind my training camp and where I find my power and motivation. At the end of the day, I box for my family.
“If my brother ends up fighting on my undercard it would be very cool for me. It will be funny because if he does compete, you will definitely see me work his corner before my title fight.”
GARY RUSSELL SR.:
“I know it’s a championship fight, but we go into every fight like it’s a title fight. We don’t know a ton about his opponent, we just train like champions.
“I have six sons, all of them are fighters. They all have different attributes as people that translate differently into who they are as people and in the ring.
“Antonio Russell is 4-0, he’s worked really hard all of his life. Outside of the gym, he can fix anything. Antoine, who just qualified for the Olympic trials, is brilliant. I’m very proud of him because he just graduated valedictorian of his class with the highest GPA of anyone in Prince George’s county. Then you have Gary, who is so hard working, he’s the future patriarch of the family. He has an old spirit.
“I’m proud of all of my kids and I’m proud that we’re a strong family unit. We learned a lot from Gary’s loss to Vasyl Lomachenko. We have a motto at the gym that hangs from a banner, it says ‘Success is the Ultimate Revenge’ and we’ve lived by that ever since the loss. We learned an important lesson from that fight and have moved on.
“Boxing is a fleeting thing, you don’t do it forever. We’re doing our own thing. I’m not worried about what other people have done.
“As a father, your paternal instinct kicks in because in this sport, anything can happen. You don’t want to see your son end up hurt. So we train for any circumstance. Because of that instinct, I’ve been strict and hard on my sons in order to try to keep them safe.”
GARY ANTONIO RUSSELL (Fighting on the Friday, Oct. 30 non-televised Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce TV undercard and potentially the November 14 undercard.):
“With the way we train and fight, our defense sets up our offense and our offense sets up our defense.
“My job is to go in there and win fights. I know my opponent is a tall guy, but I also know that he is not going to win. He doesn’t have the punching power or ring generalship that I have.
“Once I win, I’m on to the next. I’m trained to fight consistently. I hope I get this guy out early, if it comes and presents itself. Then I’d love to fight on my older brother’s card two weeks after.”