WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Here’s what they said in their final press conference.
Gary Russell Jr. defends his WBC featherweight title against the dangerous Tugstsogt Nyambayar on Saturday, Feb. 8, on Showtime at 9 p.m ET. Nyambayar, who’s from Mongolia, is not a big name in boxing, but he’s a legitimate threat to Russell’s belt.
On Thursday, Feb. 6, Russell and Nyambayar met for the final press conference before their bout. Both men were incredibly respectful and complimentary of one another. Nyambayar respects Russell because he’s an established champion. Russell holds Nyambayar in high regard because of his stellar amateur background, which includes a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Here are the highlights of what Russell and Nyambayar offered to the media via a press release from Swanson Communications.
Gary Russell Jr. quotes to the media:
Russel stated that he anticipates Nyambayar coming into their contest in the best shape possible.
“Tug will be the best he possibly can be because he knows he’s facing one of the best fighters in the world. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. He’s going to leave it all on the line.”
Russell praised Nyambayar’s boxing abilities and believes that he’s more than a valid opponent.
“I think Tug is a lot more technically sound than a lot of the guys who I have competed against. He’s another guy with everything to gain and nothing to lose, so I’m anticipating a tough fight.”
As for a prediction, Russell said, “You should expect to see what you always see with me. Boxing at its best. A great deal of ring generalship. Good boxing IQ. Hand speed. Punching power. The total package as a fighter. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to figure out why I’m not on the pound for pound list given all of that. That’s an issue.”
Tugstsogt Nyambayar quotes to the media:
Nyambayar complimented Russell as the reigning champion but also displayed confidence in his chances of winning the title.
“I’m very excited for this fight. It’s going to be a good fight for the fans. Gary Russell Jr. is a great champion, but watch on Saturday night, when I become the new featherweight world champion.”
Nyambayar added, “I just have to be better than Gary Russell on Saturday night. The past experience won’t matter. If he thinks I’m too inexperienced for this fight, he is going to be in for a surprise Saturday.”
Nyambayar is holding steady as a 3-1 underdog according to the Sportsbook Review, but he’s not intimidated by the betting line.
“I know that I’m the underdog, but that doesn’t affect me. I don’t care if I’m the favorite or the underdog.”
Nyambayar hasn’t fought in more than a year, but he doesn’t think that his layoff will impact his performance against Russell.
“I’m not worried about any ring rust. I’ve worked so hard in the ring during training camp to make sure I’m the best I’ve ever been.”
Respected trainer Ismael Salas corners Nyambayar, which Nyambayar believes gives him an edge against Russell.
“Working with Ismael Salas has been very good for me, and I think it’s taken me to another level in my career. All of skills, all of my power and speed, it will all be with me on Saturday. I just have to put it together for my best performance.”
Tune into Showtime on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 9 p.m. ET to see Russell vs. Nyambayar.