Gary Russell Jr and Jermell Charlo will defend their titles in a March 11 doubleheader on Showtime, live from the new MGM National Harder in Oxon Hill, Maryland, a card that has been coming together for a while and is now official.
It will be a home defense for Russell (27-1, 16 KO), who is from nearby Capitol Heights, against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon (25-2, 17 KO), who is 3-2 in his last five but knocked out Robinson Castellanos in March 2016 to earn the shot, sitting on that ever since. Russell will be defending the WBC featherweight title.
The co-feature will see Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KO) defend the WBC junior middleweight title against mandatory challenger Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KO). Charlo won the vacant title last May against John Jackson, and this will be his first defense.
Hatley infamously invaded the ring for a challenge that night after a win by the other Charlo twin, along with promoter Don King. He hasn’t fought since November 2015, when he went to Australia and put a beating on Anthony Mundine.
The Showtime card will go head-to-head with HBO’s show, headlined by David Lemieux vs Curtis Stevens.