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Count down to a title fight for Gary Russell, Jr.

Russell, Jr. preparing for his first title shot
Russell, Jr. preparing for his first title shot
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Gary Russell, Sr. gets emotional when talking about his boxing sons. He welled up at a recent open work out for his oldest son, Gary, Jr., who is getting ready for his first world title bout on June 21 in Carson, California. He told the story of the school counselor calling his house. He said, "Oh no, I thought... Antuanne done beat some body up." What he was told by the counselor is, 'Normally we call when there is a problem, but we want to let you know that we are so proud and so honored to have a kid like Antuanne at our school. A kid who has the mannerism and spirit he displays and we just wanted to tell you that'. Gary Sr. said "I am privileged to have raised all of my sons. They aren't locked up, being involved in gangs or selling drugs or those types of things. Boxing builds character". Antuanne is the latest Russell kid to win the National Golden Glove championship, joining Gary Jr., Allan and Antonio as the only four brothers to accomplish that fete.

Gary, Jr. will step in the ring on June 21, to be shown live on Showtime, against Vasyl Lomachenko from Ukraine. Experts say Lomachenko will be the toughest test for
Russell, Jr. Some people have criticized Gary, Jr. for building his undefeated record of 24-0 against sub par opponents. Fighters fight who they are told to fight. His team recognized his talents and had to build up an impressive record to become the mandatory challenger for the vacant World Boxing Organization Featherweight belt. Gary, Jr. has had five 10 round fights and he has gone the distance 2 times. He beat Juan Ruiz and Vyacheslav Gusev by unanimous decisions in 2013. Saturday will be his first shot at a world title.

Another DC fighter, International Boxing Hall of Famer, Mark Johnson, built up his record by fighting on the west coast because he could find fighters his size more in that region of the country. Gary, Jr., 26, is not necessarily following that same path, even though 10 of his 24 fights have been in Nevada or California. "No, we are not following Mark's path. We follow are own path. This is a life style. This is how I provide for my family and for my self as well. We have a lot of champions from this area, [DMV], and I want to have something to show for all of this hard work it takes to be a champion." The 21 st is the first day of summer and Gary Russell, Jr. hopes to add his name to the many world champions from the DMV. Please subscribe and keep up with the fighting Russell family from Capitol Heights, Maryland.