Just the beginning! - 'Hitman' Russell revels in 'special' Junior NABF middleweight title win
Kemahl 'The Hitman' Russell is now the Junior North American Boxing Federation middleweight champion after a technical knockout win over Ian 'The General' Green in New York on Saturday night.
Russell controlled the fight throughout and his combination of body shots and jabs to the face was too much for Green to handle. Green gave up in the seventh round after the doctor at ringside felt that he had received too much punishment throughout the rounds.
"The fight should've been stopped earlier, if you ask me," Russell told The Gleaner. "He was taking a lot of punishment. They were trying not to stop the fight. The referee was trying to give him a chance to get back and give a good fight. It was a good fight. He didn't get knocked out, and he was trying to come back and he couldn't. I was the better boxer. I was the better fighter inside and outside. I was stronger, I was faster, I had the better IQ (intelligence quotient), I had the better ring, craft, I had the better leg movement, and I was the better all-round boxer. "
Before the bout, Russell had said that he had three strategies that he was looking to use throughout the match. He would not give details about them at the time, but he told The Gleaner yesterday that he was able to use those tactics as effectively as he had planned to.
"Going into the fight, I programmed my mind and body a certain way to fight - where you're gonna throw the punches, which speed you're gonna throw the punches with, moving the head and moving the foot. It's a premeditated thing," Russell said.
"One of the strategies was going to the body, which worked very very well, and the other was using the jab. Then the other was coming over the top with the right hand because I knew that his left hand would always be down, even when I'm close. When he put up his left hand, then I went to the body."
Russell, who also won the Wray and Nephew Contender Series two years ago, describes the feeling of being a continentally recognised champion as extraordinary, especially because he won in front of boxing great Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield, whom he watched and respected growing up. He said that this is just the beginning of many successes.
"Trust me, it's really special," Russell said. "It's a good look, not only for me, but for Jamaica as well, especially to know that you have boxers out there with things going on and to know that we have good athletes here in the field of boxing.
"It's one of the best feelings. I've never experienced anything else like this. Nothing else can give me that feeling."
Russell's record now moves to 12 wins, 10 by knockout, 1 loss, and no draws.