TUG OF WAR
Gary Russell Jr retained his WBC featherweight title with a decision victory over mandatory challenger Tugstsogt Nyambayar on Saturday.
The 31-year-old American was awarded the win on scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110.
Speaking after the bout, Russell said: “We put the work in in the gym.
“I knew we had a very, very tough opponent. He had everything to gain and nothing to lose, but we focused, and I’m one of the longest-reigning champions for a reason.
“He’s only had 11 fights. Of course he was a silver medalist, but he’s only had 11 fights. My experience overcame him.”
Deontay Wilder will not be looking to make the same mistake against Tyson Fury.
The Bronze Bomber put the British boxer on the canvas in their first fight – but the Gypsy King rose to finish the 12 rounds and claim a draw.
And Wilder feels he will be the busier fighter when they face off in their rematch on February 22.
As reported by Boxing Scene, he said: “I have to throw a lot more in general, for real. The jab sets things up. It sets the right hand up.
“The left hook, and the uppercut, and everything you want to throw right after it. We’re adding a lot more two-and-three [punch combinations].
“A lot of things are going to be changed. It’s going to be a totally different fight. I’m not going to be doing anything different in training though.
“I’m doing what I know how to do. A lot of this stuff is muscle memory. We could be preparing for a lot of things during training camp that we’re not going to use in the fight once the look is different in front of you.”
TYSON FURY has addressed concerns over his eye ahead of his rematch with Deontay Wilder.
He told Sky Sports: “Is there any risk? I don’t know because I am not a surgeon.
“I am sure there will be. There is nothing much I can do about that. If it opens, up it opens up.
“It’s out of my control. There is nothing I can do about that eye opening in a fight.”
KELL BROOK labelled Amir Khan “a waste of time” as he targeted an all-English clash with Liam Smith.
The 33-year-old returned to ring following a 14-month lay-off on Saturday and easily dispatched Mark DeLuca with a seventh round stoppage in Sheffield.
That was enough for Special K to pick up the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super Welterweight strap with win number 39 from 41.
Now he wants a huge domestic battle with Smith, No.2 in the WBO rankings, as he dismissed the possibility of fighting long-term foe Khan.
When quizzed on the possibility of facing Smith, Brook said: “That’s a good fight. I’m sure Eddie [Hearn] will sit down and see what numbers we can come up with and how flavourful we can make it.
“If he’s in the road to me becoming a world champion then he’s in the road but like I’ve told you I’ve got the fire in the belly. I want to become a two-weight world champion.
“All these people that say I haven’t got it anymore, I’m over the hill… they’re my motivation. I know what I want.
“I get up every morning and I’ve got to give myself a pat on the back.
“What nobody sees is for months I’ve been getting up twice a day, putting the work in, going to bed early. I’ve been living the life and with no fight date as well.”
Hearn says the only way he will make the fight happen is if either man were not going to get a world title shot or if it could be a final eliminator with the WBO.
Current champ Patrick Teixeira is due to defend his belt against Brian Castano in April or May.
The idea is for and the Liverpool ace to meet on June 6 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev.
But Hearn still believes Brook versus Khan is a stadium fight and wants that showdown to happen first.
Although Brook seems to have lost faith in it ever materialising, saying of Khan: “He’s a waste of space.”
TRAINER BEN DAVISON is desperate for Billy Joe Saunders to get his fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
The WBO super-middleweight champion is among the names being considered to face the Mexican next.
Fellow Brit Callum Smith is another contender for the bout, which looks likely to be May 2 to coincide with Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo.
Four-weight world champ Canelo has plenty of options, and Davison is hoping it’s his man who gets the nod.
He told talkSPORT: “We’ve been training for a few weeks now and just waiting for a date now to programme the last of the training camp.
“I really don’t know. I don’t know yet. Hopefully he gets the chance to test himself against Canelo but we will soon find out hopefully.”