Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell gears up for thrilling comeback bout against Rafael Ortiz; aiming for spectacular KO

By Sakima Mullings - Contributor November 29, 2023
Russell (r) with Ryan Grant Russell (r) with Ryan Grant

On December 2, fans of boxing will witness the return of former Wray and Nephew Contender Champion and Junior North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Middleweight Champion, Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell (15-1, 11KO’s), as he steps into the ring against the formidable Mexican Middleweight Champion, Rafael 'El Iraki' Ortiz (16-5-1, 9KO’s).

The highly anticipated eight-round showdown will unfold at the Pickering Casino Resort Arena in the Greater Toronto area, marking Russell's third fight since his remarkable comeback after a five-year hiatus.

Following an intense eight-week training camp, Russell exudes confidence as he gears up for the challenge presented by Ortiz. Acknowledging his opponent's prowess, Russell anticipates a dominant performance, stating, “My performance will remain the same as my last fight. I feel sharp and strong, all that rust from my absence is finally gone. I’m ready for war on Saturday.”

Expressing optimism about the upcoming bout, Russell added, “Camp has been solid, there are a few hiccups here and there, but I make the most of my situation as I always do. I will be entertaining and electrifying. I expect to get this guy outta there by the third round.”

Promoter Tyler Buxton holds Russell in high regard, stating, “I expect Kemahl to showcase all of his skills and abilities in this fight. Ortiz is Kemahl’s toughest opponent since his return. Ortiz upset Omar Chavez last year and isn’t scared of a tough test.”

The upcoming fight marks Russell's third under the United Boxing Promotions banner this year. His victories in April against Marcos Cornejo and September against Juan Raygosa, both by TKO, showcased his return to top form.

The decision to base his training camps in Toronto aligns with his new promotional stable, emphasizing top-notch facilities and strong connections within the Jamaican community.

Russell’s chief cornerman, Ryan “RG” Grant, expressed satisfaction with the Hitman’s progress, stating, "Simple, Kemahl has been out here, camp just keeps getting better and better. We are both excited about this fight coming and looking forward to making some big moves in the new year after we take care of business Saturday night.”

Promoter Tyler Buxton explained the strategic decision behind hosting Russell’s training camps in Toronto, emphasizing its role in Russell’s continued success and marketability. Buxton added, “Kemahl’s quickly becoming a fan favorite here in Ontario. We have a large Jamaican following for our roster with the likes of Ricard “Big12” Brown, Shakeel Phinn, and Joshua Frazer. Kemahl is great with the fans after the events, taking photos and saying hi. He could be a main event very soon.”

As the final week of preparation unfolds, Russell remains focused on fine-tuning his skills and refining his strategy. Addressing adjustments to training in a new location and with new personnel, Russell cryptically stated, “I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable. My adjustment has been good, and I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time, with the right people.”

 Russell's upcoming bout against Ortiz, officially promoted by United Promotions, promises to be a thrilling clash, with the added excitement of fellow Jamaican heavyweight Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown (9-0, 9 KO’s) taking on Josef ‘The Gladiator’ Darmos (14-6-3, 10KO’s) in a bid for title contention and a perfect knockout streak. Boxing enthusiasts can anticipate a night of high-caliber action at the Pickering Casino Resort Arena.

 

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