WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr 29-1 (17) returns to the ring on Saturday night when he takes on Kiko Martinez 39-8-2 (28) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in the main support bout to Deontay Wilder versus Dominic Breazeale.
The classy southpaw will be having his first start for 2019 after fighting just once a year since 2015.
“My opponent knows who he’s getting in the ring with,” the 30-year-old told Fightnews. “Anybody who has an extended amount of time to prepare for no-one else but you, is a dangerous opponent. We don’t underestimate anybody, but I don’t think his best is going to be good enough.
“Martinez has no other way to fight than to come forward. We’ll control him with our jab and he won’t be able to get past it. I don’t see this fight going the distance.
“When it comes to game plans, you have to have the ability to be versatile. You have to be able to make adjustments. Having one game plan doesn’t necessarily work.
“It’s always about getting your hand raised, regardless of the situation. My dad said a long time ago, ‘if you’re better than somebody, be better than them.’ I’m not going to fight down to my competition. If he’s good enough to stay in there for the whole fight, then he’ll get beat up for 12 rounds.
“I know he’s a strong puncher, but I never watch too much footage of my opponents. Maybe a round or so. I prepare myself to the best of my abilities, regardless of the opponent.
“The ultimate goal is to focus on getting the win. I don’t worry about how big the stage is because that’s only going to take away from your performance.”