WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. recently posted a viral video aimed at rival Leo Santa Cruz in a desperate bid to land a future fight.
In what was a completely unwarranted act, Russell unwittingly added Jose to his Instagram clip to immediate call out his son.
Jose, who is battling cancer, simply smiled as Russell put his arm around him before walking away and targeting Leo.
Russell was roundly panned by fans on social media for the post. Plenty of criticism has been brought to the American’s decision.
At one point, Russell said ‘I can put my hands on him if I want to’ – as Jose was none-the-wiser.
Even former undisputed heavyweight ruler Lennox Lewis said: ‘This is taking things way too far,’ upon viewing a re-post of the video on Twitter.
Lewis was followed by a wave of similar comments from those replying to his interaction.
The fighter himself has since spoken out. Russell backtracked on any potential threats.
Speaking to FightHub TV, Russell said: “Well you got a lot of ignorant people out here that doesn’t really know what’s going on.
“I would have loved to see Leo. You know, for some weird reason, I told Leo, I can’t get within 10 feet of Leo. It’s just so funny and ironic that I can see his dad.
“So ‘Leo, I can touch your dad. I can put my hands around him. I can put my arm around him. Why is it that I can’t do the same with you?’ Get in the ring.
“You have a lot of ignorant people out here that looked at that video and felt like I was trying to do something harmful Leo’s dad — that’s completely bogus.
“You know, I have a ton of respect for him, I have a ton of respect for Leo, just for us to be able to come up in the amateurs, you know, and still be at the top of our game.
“I have to take my hat off to his dad, to get his son to the point that he is. I know his father has issues. My father actually has issues as well, my father has been diagnosed with diabetes for the last, I don’t know how many years. He suffered strokes and etc.
“So I completely understand the health issues and conditions that goes on with both parties.
“To the ignorant people in the world that thought somebody was gonna do something to his dad, get your mind out the gutter. That was stupid. Let’s make the fight happen.
“It wasn’t me picking on an old guy, it was a thing of me picking on Leo. It wasn’t me trying to pick on his dad at all, for the record. I honestly like his dad, I think he’s a cool guy,” he concluded.