Gary Russell Jr. vs Joseph Diaz Jr. Preview May 19th
The MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland is the site of the Gary Russell Jr. vs Joseph Diaz Jr. bout this Saturday, May 19th as Russell defends his WBC Featherweight Title for the third time. The 12-round bout between the two southpaws can be seen live in the U.S. on Showtime and on Sky Sports in the UK. Russell won the crown in March, 2015 with a fourth-round stoppage of Jhonny Gonzalez and defended it against Patrick Hyland by second round stoppage in April, 2016. His last bout was a seventh round stoppage over Oscar Escandon last May. Diaz last fought in February and stopped Victor Terrazas in the third round.
Russell Jr. vs Diaz Jr. Betting Odds
Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook 5dimes.eu
- Joseph Diaz Jr. +290
- Gary Russell Jr. -380
The 29-year-old Russell of Capitol Heights, Maryland has been relatively inactive lately with just one fight a year in 2015 16 and 17. This is his first outing in exactly a year. He’ll climb into the ring with a fine record of 28-1 along with 17 Kos. His lone loss came at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko in a title shot via a majority decision in June of 2014. Russell is well known for his power, speed, and combination punching and enters the bout with a knockout ratio of 59 per cent. He stands just over 5-feet-4-inches tall with a 64-inch reach. He turned pro back in 2009 and has boxed 131 rounds since then.
Russell’s toughest pro tests so far have been against Lomachenko, Gonzalez and Escandon in his title bouts with the rest of his opponents being relative unknowns. The champion is a tremendous athlete, but the majority of his bouts other than his title fights have been somewhat boring for most fans because he’s been far too superior for his opponents. He’s hoping to one day get a rematch with Lomachenko, but will have to move up in weight to do so and of course needs to get past Diaz on Saturday night.
Diaz is a 25-year-old native of South Downey, California. He’s unbeaten and enters the ring with a perfect mark of 26-0 with 14 Kos to his name. Diaz was a member of the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team at the 2012 Games in London, England where he went 1-1 as a bantamweight. He also reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Amateur Championships. Diaz turned pro in December, 2012 and has fought 162 rounds since. He has pretty good power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 54 per cent.
He’s 5-feet-6-inches tall with a 64-inch reach which gives him a two-inch height advantage over the champion. Since turning pro Diaz has captured the NABF and WBO-NABO Featherweight Titles. His toughest opponents to date have been Terrazas, Rafael Rivera, Manuel Avila, Horacio Garcia, Jayson Velez, Hugo Partida, Rene Alvarado, Roberto Castaneda and Ruben Tamayo. Therefore, it’s quite obvious that he’s stepping up in class against Russell.
Diaz is a good opponent who has enough power and throws enough punches to keep Russell honest. He’s a workmanlike boxer, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to match Russell when it comes to speed and mobility. Still, the champion can’t afford to take him too lightly, but I don’t think Diaz has the power to stop Russell or the skills to outbox him. I’m expecting Russell to retain his title when it’s all said and done, likely by decision.
I’ll go with Russell’s speed here.
Play Russell -380@ 5dimes.eu
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