'Hitman' set for tough test
Jamaican middleweight Kemahl 'The Hitman' Russell will face the sternest test of his three-year-old career on February 25, when he goes up against American Caleb 'Sweet Hands' Plant at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
This will be one of the preliminary bouts on a boxing card that features the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title fight between champion Deontay Wilder and Andrzej Wawrzyk, which will be televised worldwide.
Plant, who will be the toughest opponent that Russell has faced, has a 14-0 record with 10 knockouts, a 71 per cent knockout ratio.
Russell's record is 10-0 with seven knockouts, a 80 per cent knockout ratio. Russell had two fights last year, scoring a technical knockout victory over Denny Dalton in July, and a knockout victory over Henry Mercer in October.
Plant also had two fights in 2016 and, like Russell, one ended by technical knockout and the other by knockout.
Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Russell's manager, Lisa-May Keane, said that they are aware that Plant is a dangerous opponent, but the feeling in the camp is that Russell has to take on hard fights if he is to make the progress needed.
"We know that this is a dangerous opponent and we gave it a lot of thought before accepting the offer. We have to step up the quality of fighters that he meets now if he is to get to the top, which is our goal. Kemahl and I and his trainer, Stephen Frank, looked at Plant's record, had a long discussion, and we are comfortable with the decision," Keane said.
Russell concurred: "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best to get there. This is the challenge that I need now, and I am going to be well prepared for this fight. I have not fought since October last year and I am really anxious to get into the ring. This is a big stage, and I am ready to perform on it."