Issue | Premium | Reports | Feb 11 2020

Gary Russell emerges from hibernation for annual fight

Gary Russell sees off ‘King Tug’ but it’s a dreary affair, writes Nigel Collins at ringside
Gary Russell
Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Allentown, PA • February 8

WBC featherweight title-holder Gary Russell Jnr emerged from hibernation for his annual fight, turning back the challenge of Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar via unanimous decision. The most that can be said for Russell is that he won without undue difficulty.

It was a dreary affair, enlivened to a degree by the surprisingly large and rowdy contingent of Mongolians at the PPL Center. There were lots of flags and “King Tug” was escorted to the ring by a man wearing traditional Mongolian costume, carrying a pole with a metal do-dad on top and hair hanging down.

Russell did his best work in the early rounds, occasionally landing a hard head blow or two. Still, for long stretches Russell looked like he was fighting by rote, keeping a safe distance and pumping out southpaw jabs.