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Russell Jr. defends against Diaz Jr. on May 19

Tickets on sale now for the Showtime-televised fight.

Featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) will be defending his WBC title against Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) on May 19 at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Russell, who is making the second defense of his title, doesn’t expect to have any problems with the unbeaten Diaz.

“I don’t see this being a long night,” said Russell Jr. “If he gets reckless, it might end early. I don’t plan on going the distance with anyone I step in the ring with. I know he’s in for a rude awakening. I don’t feel as though he has the punching power, the hand speed or the ring IQ to do anything to me. At the end of the day he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell, Jr.”

Diaz, who like Russell, is also trained by his father, is making his first attempt at a world title and
plans to make the most out of his opportunity.

“I’m happy to be fighting for my first world title against the best 126-pound world champion,” said Diaz Jr. “I’ll prove to everyone that I belong on that featherweight throne come May 19.”

“I will be the bigger man come fight night, and I will break him down physically and mentally. He just better give me the credit I deserve once I beat him, and not blame his inactivity for being a factor in his loss.”

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