The time has come for Gary Russell Jr., a member of the 2008 United States Olympic team and an undefeated professional who has sent 17 opponents crashing to defeat.
The 23-year-old phenom will hit HBO airwaves for the first time on Saturday, September 3 when he squares off against Mexican knockout artist Leonilo Miranda in the co-featured bout on the Andre Berto vs. Jan Zaveck Boxing After Dark card at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The eight-round featherweight bout is a significant crossroads event for the Maryland southpaw who will be tested by the hard-hitting Miranda, who has won two of his last three bouts and will look to continue his streak upwards against the blue chip prospect.
"This is a big step for me in my career and I thank everyone involved for giving me this opportunity," said Russell. "Miranda is a tough opponent, but I need to go out there and treat him like all the rest, by dominating him and then finishing him off."
"Everyone is talking about Gary Russell and saying that he's a talented young boxer," said Miranda, "but he's never been in with someone like me and this is my big chance on HBO too, so I'm going in there to knock him out."
"Gary Russell's progress has been amazing and this is the right time for him to show what he can do to in front of very knowledgeable HBO viewers," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Miranda is powerful and he's determined to win this fight, but we have every confidence that Gary will deliver when the bell rings."
Russell vs. Miranda is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. Battle in Biloxi: Berto vs. Zaveck is presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with SES Boxing and sponsored by Star Power: Mayweather vs. Ortiz live on HBO Pay Per View September 17, Azad watches and The Underground Clown. The show will be aired live on HBO's Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 PM ET/PT.
Without question the most talented featherweight prospect to emerge from the United States in years, Gary Russell Jr. (17-0, 10 KO's) may not have struck gold in the 2008 Olympics due to a medical issue that kept him from competing, but he is on the fast track to winning gold in the form of a world championship in the professional game. Since his pro debut in 2009, the Capitol Heights, Maryland product has stayed busy, ramping up his level of competition each fight. In July of 2010, Russell Jr. stopped former World Champion Mauricio Pastrana in a single round and the hits have kept on coming. In his most recent bout in July of 2011, Russell shut out Eric Estrada over eight rounds, proving that he's ready for prime time.
A native of El Paredoncito, Sonora, Mexico, five-foot-seven inch southpaw Leonilo "Veneno" Miranda (32-3, 30 KO's) has been "poison" to his opponents over the last nine years, mixing knockout power with a southpaw style to baffle his foes before sending them to the canvas. The winner of 17 fights in two rounds or less, the 28-year-old Miranda is a former Mexican champ who is ready to step up to the world title level. To do that, he needs to first get past Russell on September 3 to build on a streak that has seen him win two of his last three bouts, with the loss a controversial split decision defeat to 8-0 Luis Franco in February.
Tickets are priced at $150, $100 and $50, and are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet or in person at the Beau Rivage Theatre box office.