WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell is still pursuing a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko seven years after dropping a majority decision to the Ukrainian in June 2014.
This weekend, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) seeks to rebound from his points reverse against Teofimo Lopez last October when he faces lanky Japanese lightweight contender Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) at the Virgin Hotels Resort in Las Vegas.
Maryland’s Russell (31-1, 18 KOs) will be an interested observer and feels Nakatani’s 6 inch reach and 4 ½ inch height advantage could pose some issues.
“I think Lomachenko is on a mission to defend his honour after the loss to Teofimo Lopez. Styles make fights, but I’m not sure how Lomachenko will deal with a much taller Nakatani,” Russell told ESPN.com.
“I think that if [Nakatani] stays with his game plan, uses his height and reach and keeps Lomachenko at the end of his punches, and catches him when he’s jumping in, he can probably get Lomachenko with something big.
“I think the fight is definitely gonna go the distance. I don’t see a KO in this fight. But Lomachenko should win. Heck, I’m not a fan of Lomachenko and don’t really care about who wins, but I want the rematch with Lomachenko, so I hope he wins.”