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Gary Russell Jr set for fifth WBC featherweight title defence against Tugstsogt Nyambayar

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr 30-1 (18) will make the fifth defence of his crown when he takes on undefeated mandatory contender Tugstsogt ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar 11-0 (9) at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania on February 8.

The talented 31-year-old won the green belt with a fourth-round knockout of Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015 but has only fought once a year ever since.

“I’m forced to defend my title against another mandatory challenger and I’m going to show on February 8 why none of the other champions want to face me,” Russell said.

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“I’m the longest current reigning WBC champion but no one has stepped up to the challenge I present.

“I’m going to take care of business against a strong opponent and display all my skills like I always do.”

The 27-year-old Nyambayar represented his native Mongolia at the 2012 Olympics and is now living and training out of Las Vegas, Nevada. In his last three fights he has logged victories over then-undefeated Harmonito Dela Torres, former world title challenger Oscar Escandon and former interim titlist Claudio Marrero.

“This is going to be an exciting fight for everyone watching on February 8,” said Nyambayar. “Gary Russell Jr is a great champion who is very talented, but he has the WBC belt and that’s what I want.

“I’m training hard to win this fight and I will be ready for anything that Russell brings to the ring.”

President of TGB Promotions Tom Brown added: “Gary Russell Jr has proven himself to be at the very elite level of this sport and one of the best fighters in the featherweight division.

“His speed, power and overall skillset has made him a much-watch every time he steps into that ring.

“He’s going to get all he can handle from an undefeated fighter in ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar, who has the pedigree and power to make this a memorable fight.”

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