By: Hans Themistode
Chris Colbert believes he was destined for his current position.
The highly ranked featherweight superweight contender is only about a month away from challenging for his first world title. On February 26, at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, the New York-born tennis player will play WBA champion Roger Gutierrez.
Although Colbert was immensely grateful for the opportunity, he found it indispensable on that faithful Saturday night. If Colbert’s words prove to be prophetic, he immediately plans to face some of the bigger names in the sport of boxing.
In fact, in a perfect world, a win over Gutierrez would set the stage for a showdown with former WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.
“Hopefully we can fight Gary Russell as he recovers,” Colbert told a group of media members on a conference call. “I’m going to retire him.”
Russell Jr., 33, was the longest-reigning boxing champion. However, despite holding onto his WBC crown for more than six years, the 126-pound pacemaker recently saw his reign at the top of the featherweight division come to an end.
On January 22, Russell Jr attempted to defend his title against mandatory candidate Mark Magsayo. Upon entering their contest, Russell Jr. has repeatedly stated that he has not reached 100%. After boxing pretty well early on, Russell Jr screamed in pain in the fourth round, while pointing at his injured right shoulder. Although he will continue to fight, the 33-year-old has been clearly harmed.
With an injured champion sitting in front of him, Magsayo took full advantage, winning a close and somewhat controversial victory.
Immediately after the defeat, Russell Jr firmly believed that he had done more than enough to win, even if only with a healthy arm. As the former champion is now trying to rehab, he expressed his desire to get things running again with Magsayo as soon as possible.
Regardless of what Russell Jr decides to do next, Colbert is increasingly interested in confronting him. Although Russell Jr has campaigned his entire career at 126 pounds, the crafty male tennis player revealed that he will only be willing to increase the weight if he can knock out a champion. In Colbert’s mind, a win over Gutierrez was a virtual lockout.
If the New York-born player succeeds in his world title bid, he wants his first defense against Russell Jr.
“I want Gary Russell. He said he wouldn’t move up unless he could get someone at 130 with a belt. I’m going to be the WBA super featherweight champion of the world, so let’s make it happen. ”