Gary Russell Jr. will return to action in May to defend his WBC featherweight title.
Showtime announced that Russell will defend his championship against former titleholder Kiko Martinez on May 18. The fight will serve as the co-main event to the Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale heavyweight title bout that will be televised live on Showtime.
Russell has not fought since retaining his world title against Joseph Diaz Jr. back in May 2018 in a fight that was also televised live on Showtime. Russell has held the WBC title since 2015, but his title reign has been marred by long periods of inactivity, fighting just once a year every year since 2015. In his last four fights, all title bouts, Russell has stopped three of his opponents, including the likes of Patrick Hyland and Jhonny Gonzalez.
Martinez, a veteran boxer who has been fighting professionally since 2004, was once the IBF super bantamweight champion, holding the belt from 2013 to 2014. The 33-year-old Martinez has fought a number of noteworthy names throughout his career, including Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz and Josh Warrington. Martinez is unbeaten in his last four fights, last losing to Warrington back in 2017.
Rounding out the Showtime-televised tripleheader is a fight between unbeaten prospect Juan Heraldez and former world champion Argenis Mendez in the opening bout. Heraldez, who last fought in February when he knocked out Eddie Ramirez, has won all 16 of his pro bouts. Mendez is a former IBF super featherweight titleholder who sports a 2-0-1 record in his last three fights.