Undefeated featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. will be after his third straight knockout victory against Roberto Castaneda when they clash on tonight’s Showtime ShoBox: The New Generation card in the headline bout for “Night Of The Olympians,” which will also feature the pro debuts of five standout boxers from the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
But the hard-punching Castanaeda (20-2-1, 15 KOs) insists that he is ready to spring the upset against Russell (20-0, 12 KOs), a bout that is part of an event that will happen at Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, Calif.
“This is definitely a great opportunity for me to fight a big name like Gary Russell on Showtime. I’d been training for a different fighter, another southpaw with a similar style, for three months,” said Castaneda, who weighed in at 125 pounds to Russell’s 126.8 on Friday.
“I’d been training for a different fighter, another southpaw with a similar style, for three months. But when this offer came along I took it. I’m definitely in good shape and very excited. With the preparation I had, I definitely feel I’m capable of winning.”
Castaneda is 4-2 in his past six fights, all of which have ended in stoppage. Castaneda rebounded from January’s fifth-round knockout loss to Felipe Orucuta with consecutive stoppage wins over Eden Marquez, and, Daniel Gonzalez, in fourth and first rounds in February and on June 8, respectively.
Castaneda believes that he can spring an upset victory such as that by Josesito Lopez, who scored the most significant win of his career with his ninth-round TKO over former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz on June 23.”
“Russell is a good fighter, very, very fast. So my plan is to not let him get into a rhythm and dictate the pace,” said Castaneda, who is coming off a sixth-round knockout loss to on June 29.
“I feel I hit hard enough and I know I throw enough punches. I expect to throw 100 punches a round. If I win this fight, I can be another Josesito Lopez, and we all know what happened to him when he got his first big opportunity.”
The featured Olympians are Dominic Breazeale, Marcus Browne, Terrell Gausha, Errol Spence Jr. and Rau’shee Warren.
Super middleweights Gausha and rival Dustin Caplinger (2-3, 1 KO) weighed in at 164 and 165.6, respectively, and junior middleweights Spence and opponent Johnathan Garcia (3-3, 1 KO) were 149, and, 149.4.
Cruiserweights Browne and Codale Ford (2-0) came in at 175.8 and 176.8, and heavyweights Breazeale and Curtis Tate (4-3, 4 KOs) were at 248 and 238.
For a clash of unbeaten junior middleweights, Daquan Arnett (8-0, 5 KOs) and Jeremiah Wiggins (10-0-1, 5 KOs) weighed in at 153, and, 151, respectively, and junior featherweights Manuel Robles (1-0) and Tim Ibarra (2-1) were at 122 and 117.8.
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com