Gary Russell Jr could be back on June 30 at the Verizon Center in DC, live on Showtime. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Showtime is looking to put together a triple-header for June 30 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, reports David Greisman, with featured fighters being Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell, Gary Russell Jr, and Anthony Peterson.
A June 30 date in DC has been discussed recently by Richard Schaefer, so the news is not a surprise, and Russell had previously been attached to the date. Adding other local fighters Mitchell and Peterson makes it clear they're looking for a house draw more than just TV money, so that's a positive.
Russell (19-0, 11 KO) is an Al Haymon-managed featherweight prospect with big upside, and is considered one of the most gifted young fighters in the sport by many. Born in DC and fighting out of Capitol Heights, Maryland, the 23-year-old Russell was set to face Dat Nguyen on the Ortiz vs Berto II card on June 23, but Nguyen dropped out of the fight.
Thus far the 2008 Olympian has run over his pro opponents, and he's been given a little TV exposure along the way thanks to Haymon's connections. Last year we saw him get an eight-round fight on an HBO broadcast, which is exceptionally rare, beating Leonilo Miranda on the Berto vs Zaveck show from Mississippi, and he had his first-round knockout of Heriberto Ruiz shown during the Broner vs Rodriguez card from Cincinnati.
Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KO) is getting a big hype-filled push as America's next great heavyweight, which he couldn't avoid forever since he's remotely interesting and an American heavyweight. He's facing Chazz Witherspoon on HBO on April 28, the co-feature to Hopkins vs Dawson II, but if he comes out of that fine, he'd basically go right back into training for the June 30 date. Mitchell is also a Haymon fighter, and the former Michigan State linebacker (DID YOU KNOW HE WENT TO COLLEGE?), fights out of Brandywine, Maryland.
Anthony Peterson (31-1, 20 KO) is the younger brother of Lamont Peterson, and is basically a fighter looking for a second chance. The last time he was featured on TV, he faced Brandon Rios in Rios' HBO debut in September 2010, and became so frustrated that he punched Rios in the nuts about 104 times en route to a disqualification loss, which he truly earned. He's fought just once since then, coming back on the Khan vs Peterson card last December to defeat journeyman Daniel Attah. I remain skeptical of Anthony's upside, but I do think he deserves a shot to redeem himself with another TV fight. At 27, he could still be a player in the lightweight division for sure, especially in today's wide-open 135-pound class. Peterson, like his brother, is a DC fighter.