By Mark F, Gray, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]
With their big brother and World Boxing Council trainer Gary Russell, Jr in their corner, younger siblings Antonio and Antuwane went to the land of 1,000 lakes and put on a show.
The youngest fighters of Maryland’s first family of boxing were impressive by overwhelming their opponents in victories and the Russell Brothers of Capitol Heights, MD kept their undefeated streaks alive with demonstrative victories Saturday at the Armory in Minneapolis, MN.
Since turning professional, they have combined for a 25-0 record with 21 knockouts.
Super lightweight contender Gary Antuanne “The Last” Russell remained perfect with a nearly flawless performance. His hand speed and quickness were too much for Detroit’s “Lightning” Larry Ventus. The youngest of the free state’s “Boxing Royalty” trio stalked his opponent from the outset by cutting off the ring and using his jab to pepper which Ventus had no answer for leading to his abbreviated evening.
Ventus was never able to mount much of an attack. Antuanne’s precision and speed frustrated his Motor City challenger and it was clear from the beginning that the youngest Russell was the far superior fighter during the contest. Ventus was on defense from the opening bell and didn’t mount any resistance in what was supposed to have been a 10 round fight.
Antuanne dropped the journeyman from Detroit to the canvas three times before the fight was stopped the third-round in what could be argued was his most impressive victory since turning pro. Russell is now 10-0 with all 10 wins by knockout while Ventus falls to 9-14-1.
Antonio Russell won a unanimous 10-round decision in his bantamweight fight over Francisco “Rayito” Pedroza of Tijuana, Mexico. Russell’s efficiently dominant performance once again left no doubt who was the superior boxer in the match as he shutout Pedroza on all three judges’ scorecards to raise his record to 15-0 with 11 knockouts. Pedroza’s record fell to 13-8-2, six KO’s.
Both Antonio and Anutwanne seem poised to take the next step right now as they move into contention for a shot at a championship belt of some sort. While neither is being projected as one of the best pound for pound fighters in their division just yet, their records clearly are speaking for themselves. However, it remains to be seen if their activity over the last quarter of the year will propel them into contention for a title shot in 2020.
Meanwhile, the oldest brother and World Boxing Council Featherweight Champion Gary, Jr. continues as their trainer, but could be on a collision course to fight former Olympian Shakur Stevenson if many boxing experts surmised during a fight card on ESPN.
After Stevenson’s win in Newark, New Jersey last Saturday, two former champions chided the division’s promoters and managers for having the most depth, but not putting the fights together which continues to hamper Gary, Jr.’s star power. Russell has said that he would fight any of the major contenders or unify the titles, but the challengers have been reluctant to fight him so he continues grooming his brothers for their championship shots.