Gary Russell Jr picked up another easy win on Thursday night in Brooklyn, knocking out Miguel Tamayo in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round featherweight bout, improving his record to 24-0 with 14 knockouts.
Russell was happy with the victory, and still isn't concerning himself with criticisms of his opposition and progression, which has become so glaring an issue that even the Golden Boy commentators openly discussed the stagnation (without specifically calling it such) on last night's show.
"I felt good in the ring tonight," said Russell, who was reportedly just getting over the flu. "I paced myself and worked towards what I wanted. I felt prepared. I went through six weeks of training and I rose to the occasion."
Russell continued, "I am looking toward the future and getting a shot at a world title."
There have been discussions about putting Russell into a world title fight, most recently with WBC featherweight champ Jhonny Gonzalez, who turned down the bout when Golden Boy proposed it after Abner Mares dropped out of a rematch with Gonzalez due to injury.
2014 is still very young, and there's a lot of time, but I think it's fair to say that this is the year we need to see legitimate progress from Russell's career if he's going to continue to be considered a blue chip prospect and contender. There don't seem to be many people who doubt that he has that talent, but the longer he continues at this level of opposition, the more chatter there is that maybe he's not what he's been cracked up to be.
Also from Brooklyn...
2012 U.S. Olympian and unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne was pleased by getting six rounds in against Kentrell Claiborne on Thursday, winning a shutout decision on unanimous scores of 60-54.
"I got some good rounds in," said Browne. "I'm learning how to be a distance fighter and to prove I could keep my composure."
Browne is now 9-0 (7 KO) since his pro debut in November 2012. Seven of his fights have ended in the first three rounds, but two of his last three have gone six and eight round distances.
Bronx featherweight prospect Emmanuel "Manny" Gonzalez also won, improving to 14-0 (7 KO) with an eight round victory over Victor Sanchez, a fighter with a losing record but tougher than he appears on paper. Scores were 78-72 across the board.
Gonzalez said he felt the effects of going the distance during the fight. "This is the first eight-rounder that I've fought [that has gone the distance] in about a year and a half," he said. "I definitely got a little winded, but I will work even harder next time and continue to be undefeated.
Zachary Ochoa and Rafael Vazquez were also winners last night.