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Gary Russell Jr vs Joseph Diaz Jr official for May 19

The featherweight title fight will take place in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Gary Russell Jr. v Patrick Hyland Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It was officially announced today that, as expected, WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr will face Joseph Diaz Jr on May 19 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, with Showtime televising as part of a split-site broadcast along with the Adonis Stevenson-Badou Jack fight from Quebec.

Russell (28-1, 17 KO) is confident that he’ll be victorious in his third title defense.

“I don’t see this being a long night,” said Russell Jr. “If he gets reckless, it might end early. I don’t plan on going the distance with anyone I step in the ring with. I know he’s in for a rude awakening. I don’t feel as though he has the punching power, the hand speed or the ring IQ to do anything to me. At the end of the day he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.”

Diaz (26-0, 14 KO) is receiving his first world title opportunity.

“I’m happy to be fighting for my first world title against the best 126-pound world champion,” said Diaz Jr. “I’ll prove to everyone that I belong on that featherweight throne come May 19.”

“I will be the bigger man come fight night, and I will break him down physically and mentally. He just better give me the credit I deserve once I beat him, and not blame his inactivity for being a factor in his loss.”

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