Unbeaten southpaw featherweight Gary Russell Jr. of Capitol Heights, Md., will pursue his 11th knockout and his 17th win against replacement opponent Eric Estrada of Chicago on Saturday night's undercard of the Amir Khan-Zab Judah fight Saturday in Las Vegas, Russell told RingTV.com on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Russell (16-0, 10 knockouts) was originally scheduled to face 25-year-old twice-beaten Paul Truscott (17-2-2, two KOs) of England, a winner of his past four bouts.
But Russell Jr. said that Truscott pulled out of the bout "about two days ago."
"I heard nothing about his reasons for pulling out, but basically, we fight whomever they put in front of us. There is a little bit of frustration when you think that you're fighting one person and then they switch your opponent," said Gary Russell Sr., the father and trainer of Gary Russell Jr.
"We trained for the original opponent that we were supposed to fight. Truscott is really a strong fighter for the weight class, so we had sparring partners who fought like him, because we knew that he was going to run," said the elder Russell. "Then we hear we're not fighting him, and that there was another guy that they wanted us to fight. That was another guy even before Estrada. But now, we're fighting Eric."
Gary Russell Jr. is coming off of a June 17 fourth-round knockout of southpaw Antonio Meza (24-10-1, 16 KOs, who he floored once in the third round and twice in the fourth.
The 23-year-old Estrada has won nine of 10 bouts with three knockouts, being stopped in the sixth round against 25-year-old Luis Cruz (18-0, 14 KOs) in June of 2010.
Estrada has been campaigning most recently as a super featherweight, having rebounded from that loss with a six round unanimous decision over James Lester (9-5, four KOs) in March.
"We're Gary's promoter, and I think that Gary Russell Jr. is one of the most talented young emerging stars. And I really feel that his day is going to come when he is going to be pound for pound one of the best fighters in the world," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
"He really has the skills, he has the excitement factor, and he's one of the most thrilling guys to watch. He's maybe the guy with the fastest hands in the sport," said Schaefer. "Gary Russell is as exciting as it comes. He's fantastic. I think he's one of the most exciting fighters right now in the sport."