WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. retained his title with a remarkable TKO of Irishman Patrick Hyland Saturday on SHOWTIME from Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. In the co-feature, Jose Pedraza defended his IBF Junior Lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Stephen Smith.
Tonight’s event was a family affair with Russell Jr. working his brother Antonio’s corner during tonight’s undercard and boxing’s Smith brothers, including current WBO Super Welterweight World Champion Liam Smith, cheering from the crowd.
A relentless Russell brought the main event to a quick halt by registering three knockdowns in the second round, the last of which forced referee Danny Schiavone to end the contest at 1:33. From the first bell, the Washington, D.C. native came out swinging with his trademark hand speed and dangerous power. Russell, a southpaw, successfully broke down—and knocked out—Hyland with multiple vicious right hooks.
“We stuck to the game plan. We stayed sharp,” said Russell Jr., who improves his record to 27 wins, one loss, 15 knockouts.