Mr. Gary Russell, Jr: The New Stud In Town

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By Joseph Allegre

In a time where boxing is looking for it’s new faces to keep what some say, is a dying sport alive, the search seems to halt after a few names are mentioned. With the likes of Andre Ward, Adrien Broner, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez leading the way, there’s a name that should also be mentioned with them. That name is “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr.

 

World class speed, power, defense, and intelligence has Russell sitting pretty with an undefeated record of 19-0, with 11KOs. The way he leads with his lightening quick right jab or how he demonstrates his tremendous body work shows the savvy of a veteran to the game, not the inexperience of a 3 year professional.

 

Being a southpaw has its own advantages but when you can put it all together as Russell does, it’s like poetry in motion. There isn’t a punch lacking in the arsenal. Whether it’s the left cross that spelled Antonio Meza or the rights hook that KO’ed Heriberto Ruiz, it’s all deadly. If combination punching is what you’re looking for then look no further than the 16 punch combo that finished his most decorated opponent to date, Mauricio Pastrana in the 1st round.

 

Skills like these aren’t honed overnight. It was 17 years ago at the age of 7, the Washington D.C. native had his first amateur fight (which he lost). During his 14 year amateur career, he ripped off over 200 wins and put some very impressive accolades on his resume. In 2004 he was Junior Olympic Champion. 2005 was a historical year for Russell, when he became one of the two boxers to win the National Golden Gloves and US Championships before the age of 17. In that same year, he also won bronze in the World Championships while being named 2005 USA Boxing Athlete of the year. He defended his US Championship crown in 2006, but was unable to compete in 2007 due to injury. His 2008 Olympic run was cut short due to not being able to make the 117lb weight limit.

 

Throughout his professional career dating back to January of 09′ he’s been nothing less than impressive. The quality of opponents hasn’t exactly been the who’s who of the featherweight division but to fight 66 rounds and lose less than a handful of rounds, is something to take notice of. Six very lopsided fights in 2011 (2KO 4D) earned “Mr.” Russell, Prospect of the year honors from ESPN.com, RingTV.com and SI.com.

 

2012 got off to a bumpy start for him. Twice he was scheduled to fight, once in Feb. on the Ortiz-Berto undercard, which was cancelled due to a Berto injury. Then again in April, his bout was cancelled because of management issues with his opponent.  Golden Boy’s prospect has his first fight of the year coming this Saturday, June 30th against another lesser but tough opponent in Christopher Perez 23-2 14KO’s. This should be a showcase of the talents that Russell hopes will move him up the ranks of his weight-class and eventually the P4P ranks. Tune in to Showtime’s triple-header to find out and get a taste of the Sweet Science.

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