Emmanuel Rodriguez vs Gary Antonio Russell Preview Aug 14th, 2021
The interim WBA Bantamweight Title is on the line this Saturday, August 14th as former IBF Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico takes on unbeaten Gary Antonio Russell of Capitol Heights, Maryland. The 12-rounder can be seen live from Los Angeles in America on Showtime while fans in Canada can catch it on TSN 2. Rodriguez was beaten by a controversial 12-round split decision by Reymart Gaballo in his last contest in December for the WBC Interim Bantamweight Title. Russell last fought in December as well when he beat Juan Carlos Payano via a seventh-round technical decision after Payano suffered a cut from an accidental head butt two rounds earlier.
Rodriguez vs Russell Betting Odds
- Emmanuel Rodriguez +155
- Gary Antonio Russell -185
The 29-year-old Rodriguez enters the contest with a mark of 19-2 with 12 Ko’s. His first defeat came at the hands of Naoya Inoue by second round stoppage in May, 2019 in the World Boxing Super Series and a shot at the IBF Title. He won the vacant IBF Bantamweight Belt with a unanimous decision over Paul Butler in May, 2018 after Butler came in overweight and the title being up for grabs only for Rodriguez.
He then defended the title five months later with a split decision over Jason Moloney before losing it to Inoue. Since turning pro Rodriguez has also captured various regional titles such as the WBO Latino, WBA Fedelatin and WBC Latino Bantamweight Championships. He enjoyed a fine amateur career with a solid record of 171-11 and won a gold medal at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.
He’s boxed 115 rounds since turning pro in 2012 and the native of Manati has decent power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 57.1 per cent. Rodriguez stands 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a wingspan of 66.5 inches. He also has victories over the likes of Luis Hinojosa, Alex Rangel, Miguel Cartagena, Elicier Aqueno, Alberto Guevara and Giovanni Delgado.
The 28-year-old Russell is the brother of the rest of the fighting Gary Russell’s including Gary Allen Russell, the current WBC Featherweight Title. ‘Antonio’ climbs into the ring with a perfect record of 18-0 with 12 Kos and has boxed 69 rounds since making his pro debut in 2015. He’s a natural right-hander who fights as a southpaw and enjoyed a fine amateur career.
Russell was a 2014 National Golden Gloves runner-up, a 2013 National Golden Gloves Champion and a 2010 National Golden Gloves runner-up. He stands 5 feet-6inches tall with a 66-inch reach which is basically the same as Rodriguez. However, he has more power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 66.7 per cent. Russell’s biggest wins have been against Payano, Jesus Martinez and Jose Cardenas so he’ll be taking a step up in class this weekend.
Like all the Russell brothers, Gary Antonio possesses a fine combination of speed, skills and power with a solid chin. Rodriguez is a former world champion so he’s also a fine boxer so this could be a bit of a chess match. Russell is anxious to make a name for himself though and to emerge from his brother’s shadow and I expect him to take the interim WBA title on the weekend.
Russell’s speed and power may be too much for Rodriguez.
Play: Russell -185 @ BetOnline.ag
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