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Gary Antonio Russell News
Casimero's aggression pays off as he wins a nip and tuck affair to retain his WBO World Bantamweight belt Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
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Gary Antonio Russell Bio
Hailing from the boxing royalty that is the Russell family, Gary Antonio Russell is on the rise in the red-hot 118-pound division as he closes in on a world title shot.
Gary Antonio Russell is among six fighting brothers, all of them southpaws who were both trained in their basement by and named after their father, Gary Sr. Gary Sr. was also a former boxer who now does so in the family-owned Enigma Boxing Gym in Capitol Heights.
Nicknamed “Another” Russell, Antonio, along with “Gary Jr., 33, Gary Allan III, 30, and Gary Antuanne, 25, all won National Golden Gloves titles.
Nicknamed “Mr.,” Gary Jr. is the reigning WBC 126-pound champion and works the siblings’ corners with Gary Allan and Gary Sr. Gary Antuanne, nicknamed, “The Last,” is an undefeated junior welterweight prospect.
“I draw energy and motivation from my Dad and my brothers—all of which goes into the ring where you’re never just fighting me,” said Antonio, a father of two daughters. “Gary’s opened the door, creating an awesome legacy and some big shoes to fill, and Antuanne and I have the skills and abilities and embrace the opportunity to walk through it.”
When they’re not balled into fists and gloved, Antonio’s hands gently plait the hair of his children, Nylah-Love, 9, and Geniya, 7, into salon-worthy braids. He is also fluent in sign language.
“I was in a gas station and this girl was trying to order something. I noticed that she was deaf. I asked her, ‘Are you deaf?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ So, I said, ‘Well how can I help you?’ From that moment, I was like, ‘Dang, the language barrier really stops people from talking to one another,” said Antonio, who is working on a clothing line for a deaf friend.
“So, I started texting her and she started telling me to watch some movies to learn how to sign. I watched this movie called, ‘The Shape Of Water.’ I kept watching that movie over and over, reading books and watching videos. Sign language has just stuck with me. I slow down on [the sign language] during training camp, but it’s a different way to reach out to my fans who are hearing impaired.”
‘Looking To End My Opponent’
Antonio’s gloved fists are dangerous in the ring as indicated by a 5-0 mark (4 KOs) in 2015, beginning with a January second-round knockout of Harold Reyes and ending with October’s third-round TKO of Eduardo Melendez.
In 2016, “Another” followed April’s second-round TKO of Alberto Serna with a six-round unanimous decision over Rudolph Hedge in June. He then proceeded to stop stopping two of his 2017 opponents in the third round and the other in 75 seconds.
Antonio scored his fourth and fifth straight knockouts in May and August 2018 by fifth-round TKO over Jonathan Lecona Ramos and 78-second knockout over Nick Otieno, respectively. Antonio registered his seventh consecutive stoppage in March 2019 via sixth-round TKO of Jose Maria Cardenas.
“The first round, I’m always looking to take my guys out. I want to go in there, get the job done and get it over with,” said Antonio.
“If he makes it through the first round, the entire fight I’m looking for a shot or several shots that will end my opponent. I’m a no-nonsense fighter whose foot is on the gas the entire fight.”
Russell was 16-0 (11 KOs) in 2019 after November’s first-round knockout of Samuel Gutierrez, which was preceded by May’s six-round technical decision over Saul Eduardo Hernandez and his first-ever 10-round unanimous decision over Francisco Javier Pedroza in July.
“Antonio’s got exceptional punching power,” said Gary Sr. “He’s a guy who can get you out of there with either of his hands.”
Antonio’s last three fights comprise a sixth-round disqualification over Jesus Martinez in February 2020, December’s six-round technical decision over left-handed former WBA bantamweight champion Juan Carlos Payano, and August’s 16-second no-decision opposite former IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez after an accidental head butt damaged and bloodied Rodriguez’s nose.
Russell led by two scores of 59-55 and one of 58-56 when the Payano bout was halted due to a deep gash over Payano’s eye, ruled to have been caused by an accidental head butt.
“I landed a hook that split [Payano’s] eye, so the cut was from that, but I was fighting Payano within days of when we were dealing with a family loss, so I wasn’t focused,” said Antonio, who was facing Rodriguez (19-2, 12 KOs) of Puerto Rico for the WBA’s interim 118-pound title.
“I was looking to establish my jab and to try to set up a hook, but he came in at the same time. I prepared for this fight looking to broadcast my talents and show everyone what’s in my arsenal, but unfortunately, the headbutt happened. For the second fight in a row, that was very disappointing.”
The Russell family also experienced the mid-December passing of 26-year-old Gary Darreke, whose heart attack took him within 10 days of Antonio’s clash with Payano
“Boosa’s” spirit will always be with Antonio, who returns to action on September 18 against 25-year-old former title challenger Alejandro Santiago Barrios (24-2-5, 13 KOs) of Mexico.
"When I wake up in the morning, the first person I think of is my younger brother. I understand that I still have a job to do, a mission to complete, and he wouldn’t want me to hold back. I’m excited,” said Antonio, who, in Barrios, faces an opponent who battled to a draw against IBF 115-pound Jerwin Ancajas in September 2018.
“I trained so hard for my last fight before it ended early. I’m just taking that same fight energy that I had for Emmanuel Rodriguez and bringing it on September 18 for my new opponent. As far as making a name for myself, that’s something that will happen as long as I continue to beat up my opponents. Once all three of us get title belts, we can bring them home and defend them.”