Gary Russel Jr.
Gary Russel Jr., the current WBC featherweight champion, has yet to schedule a fight as talks with Devin Haney have broken down.
The two camps have been negotiating terms but Russel Jr. rejected the latest offer because it had not been officially sanctioned by DAZN and Matchroom. This set off Bill Haney, who is both Devin Haney’s father and manager, to record himself accusing Russel Jr. of trying to avoid the fight.
In the video posted on September 11th, Bill Haney starts off by calling Russel Jr. “lying a** Mr. Gary Russel,” and proceeds to claim their camp offered to put up “1.5 million for you personally...you said you didn’t like that.”
Devin Haney has also been very vocal about wanting the match to happen. On Twitter, he posted, “if he gets in the ring I will retire him!”
In a video chat between Russel Jr and Bill Haney for Fannon International Boxing, Russel Jr. fired back. “we are trying to make the fight,” and that it sounded like Bill didn’t want to do the fight.
In that same video, Russel Jr. said he was “a bad mother f***** with any weight class I campaign in. And I’m trying to prove it to the world on your son.”
Both sides have slung accusations that the other is actively avoiding a fight and there have been no agreements on who would host the fight. It remains unclear from this discourse if a fight will happen on November 7th, the date Bill Haney has said he is shooting for.
Since 2015, Russel Jr. has only fought once a year but has recently indicated he’d like to start competing more often. Russel Jr. has tried negotiating fights with other top fighters such as Haney and welterweight champion Terence Crawford but so far nothing has materialized.
A fight between Haney and Russel Jr. would certainly be an exciting matchup. Haney is currently undefeated and at only 21 years old, has a very promising future in the sport. Russel Jr. has a 31-1 record and was ranked the second-best active featherweight by ESPN and The Ring Magazine. Time will tell if the bout between the two will come to fruition.