Jhonny Gonzalez to face Gary Russell on March 28

March 2, 2015

Boxing fans cannot complain about the quality of matchups being offered thus far in 2015, and today, yet another outstanding card was announced, as featherweight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs) will defend his 126-pound title against the very talented Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs) at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, on Saturday, March 28.

“Russell is not an easy test, but I’m confident I’m going to surprise everybody once more," said Gonzalez. "Nobody thought I had a chance in 2013 and I stripped Mares of his title. Food for thought.”

Gonzalez's career gained new life in 2013 with his shocking first-round knockout over defending champ Abner Mares.  Since then, he has defended the title twice in Mexico.

Gonzalez is correct in expressing caution about Russell, as many pundits are projecting Russell to win this classic boxer versus puncher matchup.  In Russell, Gonzalez is going against one of the slickest boxers in the sport, who can throw beautiful combinations with his superior handspeed.

Russell's only loss was a 12-round majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko.

“I’m blessed to be back on this stage, fighting once again for a world title,” said Russell Jr. “I came up short at my first opportunity for the title and that has me more motivated than ever to get the job done on March 28. I will finally hold up my very own belt.”

In addition, the co-featured fight also figures to be exciting, as undefeated rising star Jermell Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) takes on the experienced former U.S. Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown.

Charlo had a very productive 2014, earning three unanimous decision victories over Gabriel Rosado, Charlie Ota, and Mario Lozano.

“I have a tough opponent, people think I might not be ready, but on March 28, they’re going to know that I’m taking over the sport,” said Charlo.

Martirosyan, a local fighter out of Glendale, is a seasoned veteran who recently suffered a decision loss in his first world title shot against Demetrius Andrade.  He has since rebounded with wins over Mario Lozano and Willie Nelson.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m just thankful to get the chance to showcase my talents,” said Martirosyan. “Charlo is a tough kid, but I’ve been around this sport longer and I’m going to show him some things he’s never seen before. The fans better get ready for an awesome show.”

The bout will be televised on Showtime live at 7 p.m. PT.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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