|Russell Jr with referee Joe Cortez.|
There is a lot of excitement surrounding Russell (19-0, 11 KO's) as he has looke excellent in most of his fights and has an exciting style that impresses the fans. However, it is starting to look as if he is being protected like so many other fighters out there. This basically means that he is going to be given easy fights until he simply has to step up and take a test. This is not beneficial for him as he will not be getting enough experience and feel for how hard some fights can be so when he does step up and face one of the top guys he will be shocked.
Franco (11-0, 7 KO's) is a tough and talented fighter but he is nowhere near as popular as Russell. This is probably due to the fact that he simply hasn't had the media coverage that is available to Russell.
Strangely for a prospect, Russell hasn't yet fought in 2012. His last outing came against Heriberto Ruiz where he got rid of his opponent in just 2 minutes 12 seconds.
If the young man does want to reach his full potential, skill wise and reputation wise, then he is going to have to fight a few more times by the end of the year. I know it's unlikely but, hopefully it's against an opponent that can provide with a good enough test.