|The first and the best - Gary Russell Jr|
Gary Russell Jr, recognized by many to posses the fastest hands in boxing, was the first fighter we focused on last November in our ever-growing Spotlight series. Since then, Russell Jr (now 22-0, 13 KOs) from Capitol Heights, MD, has beaten Vyachaslev Gusev by unanimous decision and was scheduled to fight in Brooklyn, NY, on the undercard of the now scrapped Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat bout. That card fell through due to Murat's inability to acquire the necessary travel visa, an issue that has since been resolved. We should look forward to seeing one or two more fights from Russell Jr. before a possible showdown with featherweight champ Abner Mares - a fellow Golden Boy Promotions fighter.
|Thurman beats Zaveck by decision|
Thurman (now 20-0, 18 KOs) trained by Dan Birmingham in Florida, has been getting rounds under his belt with Daquan Arnett (11-0) and readying himself to exploit the shortcomings of Chaves. "Sometimes he'll lunge in with a big wide left hook, I have seen him miss it many times. If he steps in with that over-zealous knockout mentality, if he happens to throw that wide hook, I plan on shutting it down with a short one of my own. There are things we saw on film and we'll be looking for them come fight night. Bombs will be dropping all night!" It's a huge opportunity for Thurman and his last two victories, over the durable Jan Zaveck and the experienced Carlos Quintana, should see him better equipped than the talented yet relatively untested interim WBA 147 lb champ Chaves. In the second installment of Golden Boy's Knockout Kings series, Thurman and Chaves bring 36 knockouts out of a combined 42 fights to the table. This one should not go the distance. The fight will be televised on Showtime in the US and on Super Channel in Canada.
|Another opponent goes By-By for Jennings|
At 6'2 and 225 lbs, Jennings' size, or lack of it, could be a factor as his fights, and his opponents, continue to get bigger.
In Houston, TX, another KO Digest Up and Comer Ricardo Williams Jr, is training and awaiting resolution to a similar issue made public by Andre Ward recently. Williams Jr. (featured last February) and Ward share the same manager; James Prince. Prince and promoter Dan Goossen have been engaged in a legal battle, and the career of Williams Jr. has been affected in the meantime. "I'm in a bit of a different situation [than Ward] but basically I haven't fought as many times that's required in my contract. I just don't feel like I'm getting the attention that I need, to get to where I need to be," said Williams Jr. The slick Olympic silver medalist from 2000 has not been in the ring since his somewhat controversial victory over then undefeated Golden Boy prospect Luis Ramos, on FOX Sports late last year. Ranked 9th at junior welterweight by the IBF, Williams Jr. could be in a worse position but it appears that his future lies away from Goossen Tutor and negotiations to part ways are in the works. "I don't think it's going to be a problem. I've pretty much done everything he asked of me, fought who he wanted me to fight, we're not on bad terms, but if boxing is what I'm gonna be doing then I need to start doing it a little bit more."
Williams Jr did name a potential suitor from New York that unfortunately cannot be revealed at the time of writing.
|Nelson fights inside against Cuello|
Due to the natural and obvious attributions of Nelson's height and reach, trainer Jack Loew can often be heard pleading with, and berating, his charge in between rounds to employ the jab more. Nelson, a tall fighter more comfortable in closer quarters, told KO Digest that Loew had issue with his "listening in the corner" and that the verbal abuse on the stool was a case of the former Trainer of the Year simply "doing his job." And doing it well, too. Nelson (now 21-1-1, 12 KOs) made a hard fight harder against a capable fighter whose only prior losses have come against Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Despite not scoring a knockout, his impressive run continues and although nothing is scheduled as of now, Nelson remains focused, stating - "I want to be a world champion by 2014."
|Mayfield has a fight scheduled vs Pavel Miranda|
|A tainted Love saw a win become a no-decision|
|How much longer will Bellew have to wait?|
It will be interesting to see how the mini-saga unravels as 'Bomber' has already fought three WBC ordered eliminators.
And so there you have it fight fans, a look back and a look ahead at each of the eight promising prizefighters who have been spotlighted as a part KO Digest's popular "Boxing's Up and Comers" series. Be sure to join us next month as we again shine our spotlight on a brand new up and coming boxer making waves on the way up the ranks.
Look for a new KO Digest Spotlight on Boxing's Up & Comers on the 15th of every month!
Written by Terry Strawson ~ exclusively for KO Digest