Gary Russell Jr. vs Vasyl Lomachenko Preview June 21
The vacant WBO Featherweight Title is on the line this Saturday, June 21 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and we’ll see Gary Russell Jr. of the USA taking on Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for the belt. Russell goes into the fight as the number one contender while Lomachenko is ranked fourth. All of the action can be seen live on Showtime in America, Super Channel in Canada, and on BoxNation in the UK.
The 26-year-old Russell of Washington, DC is undefeated so far in his pro career with a perfect mark of 24-0 with 14 Kos. The 26-year-old Lomachenko is just 1-1 with 1 Ko to his name. Incredibly, this will be Lomachenko’s second shot at the crown already. He took on former champion Orlando Salido for the title in just his second pro contest on March 1, but lost by a close split decision. The title became vacant after the fight though since Salido was stripped of it for failing to make weight.
Both of these boxers had excellent amateur careers with Lomachenko being an Olympic star with a pair of gold medals. But their paths have taken extremely different paths since turning pro. Russell has been groomed for a title shot over the past couple of years and has been brought along quite slowly. Lomachenko on the other hand has been thrown in with the wolves right from the get-go and this is the second time he’s been placed in a sink-or-swim situation. Even though he’s had just a pair of pro fights, Lomachenko can be considered the more experienced boxer overall with close to 400 amateur bouts with a 396-1 record in them.
Both men are southpaws who have excellent boxing skills to go along with decent power. Russell has the quicker hands and possesses better mobility in the ring while Lomachenko is more of a straightforward boxer who uses less movement and excellent timing. Lomachenko proved against Salido that he can take a good shot and also has some power of his own. With Russell, it’s unclear just how good his chin is since he’s never really been tested as of yet.
Russell stands just 5-foot-4 and has a 61-inch reach which means Lomachenko will enter the ring with a two-and-a-half inch height advantage as well as a considerable edge in the reach department. Lomachenko is definitely Russell’s toughest opponent to date, but the same can’t be said of Lomachenko since Salido is arguably a better fighter than Russell. Basically, Russell’s level of opposition hasn’t increased over the years as he’s faced a string of Grade B and C boxers.
Russell definitely has the advantage when it comes to hand speed, but Lomachenko is excellent at adapting to his opponent’s style in the ring. The Ukrainian will attempt to keep Russell on the outside with his superior reach and pick him apart when he gets within firing range. However, Lomachenko can’t simply wait for Russell to get within punching distance. He’s going t have to initiate the action himself if he wants to rack up points on the judges’ scorecards.
Since both boxers have a huge upside, a loss might not seriously damage their careers. This is especially true of Russell since he’s never been beaten. A loss for Lomachenko means he’s not quite ready to take on the top boxers in his division yet. This is an excellent test for both boxers and a draw wouldn’t be out of the question, but it’s more likely that Lomachenko will take the title via a close decision in a competitive fight.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with a Russell win being listed at +155 and a Lomanchenko victory at -175. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.