Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, NV, March 28
By Peter Lim
Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs) hits so hard that he can stop just about anybody but at the same time, his chin and body are so frail that he can be stopped by just about anybody too. Two of his three knockout losses came against southpaws (Toshiaki Nishioka and Gerry Penalosa) and he was dropped and dominated by yet another lefty, Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs) has only average punching power but so did Penalosa and that didn't prevent him from sinking Gonzalez for the full count with a shot to the ribcage. Russell's whiskers withstood the blows of Vasyl Lomachenko but as accomplished as the Ukrainian is, his punches pale in comparison to the whipper-snapper missiles that Gonzalez launches.Russell's speed, more than his southpaw style, will trouble Gonzalez in the early goings of the fight, but Gonzalez's impressive boxing prowess is often overlooked because of his explosive punching power. Neutralizing speed with timing, Gonzalez will soon exploit the chinks in Russell's armor that Lomachenko exposed with lead right hands. Somewhere in the middle rounds, he will follow one of those rights with a sizzling left hook that separates Russell from his senses, ending the fight.
Couldn't have been more wrong on this one.