I had the opportunity to speak with Gary Russell about his upcoming fight against Mark Magsayo.
Russell, the extremely talented and in his prime fighter, hopes to get more fights in 2022. That, in my mind, is the only reason he isn’t on the pound-for-pound list is because of inactivity, but some of that is out of his control.
Here is what he had to say about that.
“I hope so. As you say, we are starting early, we compete. And then the first month of the year, so a guy will, and we get through this Joel man, we can be able to swing back right around probably mid-summer, somewhere else out of the way, and then we can finish the year out strong.”
Russell says he feels like he isn’t getting the fights he deserves because fighters don’t want to step up and fight him, which is what is stopping him from getting on that pound-for-pound list.
“It is a blessing and a curse, man. It’s somewhere flattering. But at the same time, it’s like, come on, man. How could you possibly call yourself a fighter? You know, if you are a true fighter and the true warrior, then let’s make this sh*t boogie. Let’s make this shit shape. Let’s let the best competing as the best and see what happens.
That’d be willing to put it on the line. These guys, they get to a certain point. They know who they not willing to put it on the line.”
Russell has had beef in the past with Terence Crawford, who is suing Top Rank for not getting the Errol Spence fight and racial discrimination. Russell had some interesting thoughts on how the business of boxing should work.
“I guess it’s beneficial to two more. So the managers and the promoters and the fighters. So that’s why this is the reason why I’m a free agent. You know, I do have a good business relationship with these guys, but I’m not locked in, in, in a contract with these guys. You know, a lot of the times when you are locked into a contract, and you are forced to do what they want you to do, you can’t really, you don’t have the flexibility to move how you want.
That’s one of the biggest things.”