All boxing fans know the famous brothers in the sport over the years. The Spinks brothers, the Klitschko brothers and even Sugar Ray Leonard's brother Roger had a brief career in the ring. Now, here come the Russell brothers. They have done something in amateur boxing that has never been done before. All four brothers have won National Golden Gloves championships. Another first, is that they all have the same first and last names, Gary Russell. Gary, Jr. won his amateur title in 2005, Gary Allan won in 2010, Gary Antonio won his in 2013 and Gary Antuanne won this year. Quite a feat. The Russell fighters use their middle names for less confusion.
Gary, Jr., 26, is the only pro at this time, with no time table on the others turning pro. Gary Jr. is slated to fight for the World Boxing Organization Featherweight title on June 21 in Los Angeles to shown live on Showtime, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Russell, Jr., 24-0, 14 KO's, is fighting for the vacant WBO belt and his opponent is Ukraine's Lasyl Lomachenko, who according to Gary, Jr. "Is a fighter that had a good amateur career, but is having trouble adjusting to the pro game. That happens a lot in this game." Russell, Jr. is said to have the fastest hands in the sport. In his open work out recently, he worked with 20 ounce gloves and he was hitting the hand pads of his brother with speed that sounded like a rapid fire machine gun. "We always use the 20 ounce gloves. We have a history of hand troubles. We spar, hit the bags and everything else with 20 ounce gloves", says Russell, Jr.
Russell, Jr. uses a lot of unorthodox work outs. Using the medicine balls in every way you can think of. "My father comes up with these different types of work outs. He is the painter, I'm just the canvas", says a proud son. Gary, Jr. is a serious fighter. "We don't cut corners. We are intense in every thing we do. I am not going to fight too much longer, so I am doing everything right to support my family and my self." Russell fights as a south paw, but says, "I am a natural right hander, but I fight southpaw. I started out as an orthodox fighter, but I felt more comfortable fighting south paw, so we switched and it has worked out so far". Boxing fans have seen that before in the great Marvin Hagler and former champ, Michael Moorer.
Russell, Jr. has stayed away from the politics of boxing. "We are a free agent. We rent promoters, but we are not signed with any promoter. We like it like that. I have Al Haymon as a manager, but we decide who we fight. In this fight, I am the mandatory challenger". Gary Russell, Jr. hails from Capital Heights, Md., a Washington, DC suburb and he knows the history of champions from this area, "I know about Sharmba Mitchell, Keith Holmes, Mark Johnson and William Joppy. I know the roads they traveled to become world champions and that is what I am doing." You can add current champion Lamont Peterson to that list of DMV fighters. Please subscribe and follow the tradition of DC fighters.