The signs were everywhere that Saturday’s fight night was in full effect. Even the parking garage was packed to capacity, with cars creating parking spaces along the wall. From parking level P6 – take the elevators to level C for entry into the MGM National Harbor for the main event, Gary Russell, Jr defending his WBC Title Championship against opponent Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, Jr.
At the time of my arrival, Cobia Breedy from Bridgetown, Barbados was in the ring against opponent Christopher Martin from Chula Vista, CA. I was rather impressed with Cobia’s performance in the ring considering that I missed his last fight at MGM. Not only that, but during the media day workout his had to find his pace and momentum on the frog exercise equipment which made me think about his movement in the ring come fight night. Breedy’s shots landed him a victory. Some of the power packed punches landed on Martin even caused him to stumble a little. Cobia gave himself a C for his fight, however I disagree with that, He deserves a B- for his precision of punches landed during the 6 -round bout. Cobia’s coach says “time to step up.”
It was during Cobia’s interview that I missed Gary Antuanne Russell’s Junior Weltweweights fight. When we last spoke, nine days before the fight, he stated that he trains for 12 – rounds. Although this was a 6- round bout match, Gary Antuanne ended the boxing match in round two, despite his opponent Wilmer Rodriguez from Santo Domingo, DR being overweight.
The action doesn’t end there! In fact, it was time for Gary Russell, Jr to take to the ring defending his WBC Featherweight Championship title in 12 rounds against Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, Jr. “Jo Jo” made his way to the ring on the tune of Migos – “Walk it like I talk it,” but the crowd remixed the song adding some “boos.” The sounds from the crowd changed from a remix version of “Walk it like I talk it,” to cheering on Gary Russell, Jr as he made his way to the ring with a little Curtis Mayfield – “Keep on Pushing.” Both songs brought forth an extra boost of energy to ease any anxiety because it was about to be SHOWTIME.
From the first round bout, the jabs were jarring, and jaw dropping, there were moments “Jo Jo” wanted to attack Gary’s body, breaking it down to secure the victory. It was then in round three or four Russell hurt his jab hand, but still had to use it. “Jo Jo” appeared to have a strategy of cornering Russell Jr in an attempt to get a knock out, but luckily Gary got from out of that trap. “Jo Jo” says Gary Russell, Jr is very quick and he thought that the slip was a knock down. It was truly a gladiator fight, blow for blow, with not all of the jabs landing as precise as either boxer may have wanted it, but Russell stills reigns as World Boxing Champion defeating Joseph Diaz, Jr. in 12 powerful, body blow rounds- finishing with a score 111 to 117.