BROOKLYN – The Russell family of fighters took their skills to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and came away with victories on May 18.
Gary, Jr. retained his World Boxing Council Featherweight Title with a TKO of Kiko Martinez from Spain.
The last fight for Gary, who is from Capitol Heights, was almost year ago to the day. For a fighter that fights once a year, he was sharp with his combinations and his overall movements. He landed clean hard shots to the head and face of Martinez from the opening bell.
The fight ended in the fifth round when referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped the action and took Martinez to see the ringside doctors. After looking at the cut above Martinez’s left eye, the doctors told the referee to stop the fight.
The cut occurred in the second round from a Russell punch to the eye. Gary (30-1) continued to pepper that same eye with damage for the next two rounds, and it was clearly visible that the cut had opened up. Martinez, 39-9-2, had no objections.
“It was a good stoppage for a very tough fight,” said Martinez. “I am definitely a visual fighter, so the cut made it tough. Gary was in great physical condition and it was a very hard fight.”
However, the champ does not consider a fight like this as just another fight.
“When I train for six weeks for a fight, it is the most important fight at that time,” explained Russell. “So, I get something out of every fight I fight.”
Gary and his team have said multiple times that the fight for them is against Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz and Gary are considered the best featherweights in the world. Boxing fans were sure the two would fight in 2019, but that does not seem to be the case. Santa Cruz is said to have a fight scheduled soon.
Antonio Russell started the night for the family. He won a Technical Decision when his opponent, Saul Eduardo Hernande suddenly fell to the canvas in the sixth round. He seemed to be in a lot of pain, but it was hard to figure out what happened to him. The ruling was there was an accidental head butt and by rule, after the fourth round, the judge’s scores determine the winner. The scores were 60-54 twice and 59-55, all for Antonio. He improved his record to 14-0.
“Our heads never touched,” recalled Antonio. “I hit him with a body shot and he fell down in a delayed manner.” Antonio fought with an injured hand for the entire fight.
Despite the victory, his father and trainer, Gary Russell, Sr. was not impressed with his son. “I know he hurt his hand, but I was not satisfied with his fight. I will give him a C+.”
Gary Sr. said before the fight that both of his younger sons would be moving up in competition in upcoming fights. Antuanne’s opponent came in with a record of 16-3-2. The Olympian pressed Marcos Mojico through out the fight, constantly landing hard shots to the body. After knocking down Mojoco twice in the fourth round, the referee called a halt to the fight and Antuanne improved to 9-0.
“I give Antuanne a B+ tonight. He looked aggressive, but I want him to be more aggressive,” said Gary Sr
“I am my worst critic. Whatever grade my dad gave me is what it is,” said Antuanne who looked good to the average fan. “I was trained to go to the body in this fight and that’s what I did,” said Antuanne.
Antuanne, appeared to be much bigger next to his opponent and he eventually wore him down with boxing.
Another fight took place on this night involved Forestville’s Alantez Fox, the older brother of Welterweight Boxer Myke Fox, known as Alantez, won his fight at The Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. with a TKO of Nick Brinson in the sixth round. He displayed a good jab and dominated to the body of Brinson, according to Juan Marshal of Pro-Am Fight Talk. With the win, Alantez improved to 25-1-1.