With the recent news of WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. declaring his free agency, a number of parties are interested in signing him, including Eddie Hearn.
Soon after Russell defeated Kiko Martinez to retain his title on May 18 in Brooklyn, New York, Russell said in an interview that he is no longer obligated to PBC and is ready to explore any and all options available to him. Hearn spoke to AB Boxing News during Fight Week festivities for the May 25 Matchroom Boxing show from Maryland and was asked about his interest levels in signing Russell.
Hearn said he would be willing to talk with Russell and feels that the WBC champion was not used properly by PBC, given that he only fought once a year per year from 2015 to 2019 thus far. The British promoter even went as far as to say that he Russell is "wasted talent" due to the inactivity.
"I'm sure he will be in the show. The one thing that looks apparent is that Gary is not happy. I mean, you don't come out and say what he said if you are happy. What he is doing is inviting people and make offers. Gary Russell is an exceptional fighter. Gary Russell is probably a wasted talent, he only boxes once a year. Gary Russell should be fighting three times a year and could be in mega fights for mega money. I don't think people really want to fight him. I would be interested in talking to Gary Russell as I'm sure others are. We're at a stage where we have a lot of fighters. We're only one or two away from being full up. Gary Russell is the type of talent that we would love to welcome to the team," Hearn said.
Russell has not ruled out re-signing with PBC, but has also said that if he doesn't get a long-awaited unification fight with WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, he would consider a move up in weight. In an interview with Showtime after Russell's win over Martinez, Russell said he would likely go for Miguel Berchelt's WBC super featherweight title if he were to move up in weight.
The full interview between Hearn and AB Boxing News can be seen at this link.