Should he defeat Vietnam native Dat Nguyen on April 21, featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. is being considered for a swift return on July 17and a clash of unbeatens against Abraham Lopez of La Puente, Calif., at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed to RingTV.com.
“Gary Russell’s management team and myself, we haven’t yet agreed to it,” said Schaefer. “But it’s something that we have discussed, and it is something that I’ve discussed with Gary.”
The possibility was announced by commentators during ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, while Lopez (17-0, 12 knockouts) was earning a disputed unanimous decision over southpaw Gabriel Tolmajyan (12-2-1, 3 KOs) , of Glendale, Calif., at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Cabazon, Calif.
“It’s a possiblity, but it’s not agreed to and it’s not done. The only thing that I know for sure is that Gary will fight before that date as well on April 21 against Nguyen. We know that he has to win that fight and that he has to come out clean,” said Schaefer.
“And then we will see who he is going to fight. But the plan is for him to fight on that date. But again, there are a lot of ‘ifs,’ and, we certainly have not agreed. We have not made a deal and we have not agreed on that fight.”
A 23-year-old southpaw, Russell (19-0, 11 KOs) is coming off November’s first-round stoppage of Mexican Heriberto Ruiz as he heads into the match up with Nguyen (17-2, 6 KOs).
Russell will meet Nguyen on the undercard of a Showtime-televised, junior featherweight bout featuring Abner Mares (23-0-1, 13 KOs) vs. Eric Morel (46-2, 23 KOs).
Mares vacated his IBF bantamweight belt in favor of rising in weight for the fight with Morel for the WBC’s belt.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org