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Gary Russell Jr turns back spirited challenge from Tugstsogt Nyambayar

Anthony Cocks

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WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr 31-1 (18) has flagged a move up in weight after making the fifth defence of his belt against Tugstsogt ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar 11-1 (9) at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

In a classic boxer versus puncher matchup, the 31-year-old southpaw proved too experienced to win a unanimous decision victory in what was just his sixth fight in the past six years.

Judge David Bilocerkowec had it 118-110, while judge Glenn Feldman scored it 116-112 and John MacKaie carded 117-111.

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“We put the work in every day in the gym. I’m a perfectionist. We knew we had a very tough opponent and I knew he was going to bring his physical best,” Russell Jr said.

“He had everything to gain and nothing to lose. We just focused and showed I’m one of the longest-reigning champions for a reason

“The difference was ring generalship, hand speed and boxing IQ. He only had 11 pro fights, of course he was an Olympic silver medallist, but he only had those 11 pro fights. I’ve had over 30 and I think my experience was enough to overcome and win this fight.

“We never take a day off. I’ll probably be back in the gym next week. We’ll keep our wheels turning and stay sharp.

“If we have to move up in weight for these top fighters to feel like they have an advantage and take the fight, then we’ll do it.”

Mongolia’s Nyambayar, 27, was disappointed with the result but admitted the better man won on the night.

“It wasn’t my night. He was the better man tonight,” he said. “I didn’t do my work the way I was supposed to.

“He is a great champion who fought a great fight. I made a mistake by waiting for him during the fight.

“I’d love the rematch if I can get it.  I want to thank the Mongolian fans for coming out tonight and I’m grateful to everyone in Mongolia.”

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