WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KO’s) will make his third title defense on Saturday night when he takes on an undefeated Joseph Diaz (26-0, 14 KO’s) at the MGM National Harbor in Russell’s home-state of Maryland.
In the United States, the fight will be broadcast live on Showtime, with the telecast starting at 10 p.m. ET (it’s the first fight of a split-site doubleheader that will also feature Adonis Stevenson vs Badou Jack). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the fight live or on-demand by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu: Whether you have Hulu or Hulu With Live TV, or if you’re signing up for a new account, Showtime can be added for $8.99 per month. Once signed up, you can then watch the fight live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of Showtime through Amazon Channels, which comes with a free 7-day trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the Showtime channel, you can watch a live stream of the fight on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
DirecTV Now: Showtime is an $8 per month add-on that can be added to any of DirecTV Now’s four channel packages. You can add it to your existing DirecTV Now account, or if you’re a new subscriber, you can sign up for a free 7-day trial of any base package plus Showtime. Additionally, new subscribers can get $25 off your first three months with promo code “YESNOW3”, so if you sign up for the “Live a Little” package and Showtime, you would get 60-plus channels, including Showtime, for just $18 per month for the first three months. Once signed up, you can watch the fight live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
With all of these options, in addition to being able to watch Showtime live, you also get access to all of Showtime’s on-demand content, which includes previous fights from Russell Jr, as well as the Russell Jr. vs Diaz fight itself the day after it airs.
Since losing via majority decision in 2014 to Vasyl Lomachenko, who has since grown into arguably the pound-for-pound king, Russell Jr. has won four fights in a row. And the last three of those–the title-winning victory against Jhonny Gonzalez, and defenses against Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon–have all been of the knockout variety in the seventh round or earlier.
But the quality of competition hasn’t been all that impressive in those wins, and the 29-year-old still has more to do to prove himself as the best at 126 pounds.
This is a good opportunity to move in that direction. Diaz, who became the mandatory challenger after destroying Victor Terrazas in the third round in February, is a talented young fighter who is ranked eighth in the division by BoxRec and seventh by ESPN.
“I’m like Pernell Whitaker and an Oscar De La Hoya mix,” said the 25-year-old Diaz, who isn’t exactly lacking confidence. “Pernell because he’s fast and Oscar because he applies the pressure and throws combinations. That’s what I plan on bringing to this fight. Applying the pressure and taking him to a point where he’s never been before. He drops his hands a lot and his defense is not that good, so I’ll be taking advantage of that. I’ll be landing body shots, and let’s see if he can take it for 12 rounds.”
Russell Jr, who will have the home-town crowd on his side Saturday night, is a significant favorite, but Diaz is a dangerous opponent who has the tools to make things interesting. This should be a fun fight between two of the best in a very good division.
Source: Heavy Sports