Gary Russell Jr. vs Tugstogt Nyambayar Preview Feb. 8th
Gary Russell Jr of Washington DC defends his WBC Featherweight Title for the fifth time this Saturday, Feb. 8th when he takes on Tugstogt Nyambayar of Mongolia in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 12-round contest can be seen live in the USA on Showtime while fans in Canada can catch the action on TSN 2. Those in the UK and Ireland can see it on BoxNation. Russell last fought in May of when he stopped Kiko Martinez in the fourth round. Nyambayar hasn’t fought in over a year as he beat Claudio Marrero via unanimous decision last January for the vacant IBO Featherweight Crown.
Russell Jr. vs Nyambayar Betting Odds
- Tugstogt Nyambayar +316
- Gary Russell Jr. -396
As usual, the 31-year-old Russell has been relatively inactive lately with just one fight a year in from 2015 to 2019 and the southpaw will climb into the ring with a fine record of 20-1 with 18 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 58.1 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 143 rounds since then.
Russell’s toughest pro tests so far have been against Joseph Diaz, Lomachenko, Jhonny Gonzalez and Oscar Escandon in title bouts with the rest of his opponents being relative unknowns. The champion is a tremendous athlete, but the majority of his bouts 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 Nyambayar on Saturday night.
The 28-year-old Nyambayar, who now resides in Los Angeles, enters the ring with a perfect mark of 11-0 with 9 Kos for a fantastic knockout ratio of 81.8 per cent. He has 50 rounds experience under his belt since turning pro in 2015 following ans successful and extensive amateur career. He won silver at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Italy, losing to McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico in the final. He boxed at the 2010 Asian Games in China, made the quarterfinals at the 2010 World Youth Championships in Azerbaijan and boxed at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Azerbaijan.
He then won silver at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifiers and took home a silver medal in the 52 kg division at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. After that he boxed at the 2013 AIBA World Championships in Kazakhstan and the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. He also boxed in the 2010/11 World Series of Boxing for the Baku Fires where he was beaten by current WBC Bantamweight Champion Nordine Oubaali of France on points.
Nyambayar has plenty of amateur experience but has fought limited opposition as a pro so will be taking a step up in class against Russell this weekend. His best wins have been against Oscar Escandon by third-round stoppage in May, 2018 and his unanimous decision win over Marrero in his last outing. Like Russell, he hasn’t been too active lately either with just one fight in both 2018 and 2019. This is his first fight in 14 months and he could have some ring rust. Nyambayar is 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 66-inch reach so has a 3.5-inch height advantage over Russell and a two-inch edge in reach.
Nyambayar shouldn’t be taken lightly by Russell since he’s a fine boxer with pretty good power, a decent chin and plenty of amateur experience. Russell needs to use his speed, mobility and boxing skills to keep the challenger on the back foot but he may have to do some inside work due to Nyambayar’s height and reach advantage. This should be one of Russell’s stiffer tests, but I’m expecting him to keep his belt in a close fight.
Russell should have his hands full but still retain his title.
Play: Russell Jr. -396 @ BetOnline.ag
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