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Gary Russell Jr. (born June 5, 1988) is an American professional boxer who has held the WBC featherweight title since 2015. As of April 2019, he is ranked as the world's third best active featherweight by The Ring magazine and ESPN, and fourth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and BoxRec.

Gary Russell Jr.
Gary Russell, Jr.jpg
Russell Jr. (center) in 2010
Height5 ft 4 12 in (164 cm)[1]
Reach64 in (163 cm)[1]
Born (1988-06-05) June 5, 1988 (age 31)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights31
Wins by KO18

As an amateur, Russell won a bantamweight bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships.[2] In 2011, he was named Prospect of the Year by The Ring,[3] Sports Illustrated,[4] and ESPN.[5]


Amateur career and OlympicsEdit

Russell was born in Washington D.C. At age 16, he won both the U.S. Championships and the Golden Gloves in 2005. He became one of only two boxers to win both the U.S. Championships and National Golden Gloves before his 17th birthday. In October 2005, the small southpaw boxer-puncher had a record of 163-10.

In November 2005, at the world championships in Mianyang, Russell beat Bulgarian Detelin Stefanov Dalakliev, 25-21, in the first round; dec. Canadian Tyson Cave, 22-9, in the second round; dec. Jordanian Al Gharaghir Ibrahim, 34-13 before losing to German Rustamhodza Rahimov, 28-17 thus winning the bronze medal at age 17 (joining Rau'shee Warren) and was named 2005 USA BOXING Athlete of the year.

Russell repeated his national title win in 2006, at the US championships 2007 injuring his hands in the process.

At the Olympic Trials 2007, Russell sensationally lost to Roberto Marroquin in his first fight (17:18), his first defeat to a countryman in eight years, but beat him twice later and bested national champion Rios to qualify. Russell became only the fourth boxer in U.S. team history to lose in the opening round and rebound to win his weight class, the others were Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr. and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

At the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago, Russell beat Ali Hallab to qualify for the Olympics but was beaten soundly by Russia's eventual winner Sergey Vodopyanov 16-6 and didn't medal.

Russell's quest for a medal ended prematurely as he missed the Olympic weigh-in hours after losing consciousness in his Olympic Village dorm room.[6]

Professional careerEdit

Russell stopped Antonio Reyes at 0:21 of the third round of his pro debut, as he began his ascension to the top of the division.

Russell Jr made his HBO debut on Saturday night against Leonilo Miranda, the co-feature to the main event of Andre Berto vs. Jan Zaveck from the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.[2]

Russell had a stellar 2011, defeating Feider Viloria, Adolfo Landeros, Antonio Meza, and Leonilo Miranda. On July 23 Russell faced Eric Estrada on the undercard for the Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah fight at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Russell put on a brilliant performance winning an easy unanimous decision.[7]

On November 26, 2011, Russell was originally scheduled to face Dat Ngyuen, who was forced to withdraw after suffering a knee injury the week before during training camp. Instead, Russell defeated Mexico's Heriberto Ruiz on November 26, 2011 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio with a stunning knockout at 2:12 in the first round.

Russell would get his first professional title shot in 2014, when he faced Ukrainian prospect Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Lomachenko, fighting just his third pro fight after a record-breaking amateur career, beat Russell by majority decision (116-112, 116-112, 114-114). Russell would claim his first belt the next year, beating holder Jhonny Gonzalez by TKO to take the WBC featherweight title. Russell dominated the latter fight, putting the Mexican down once in the third round and twice in the fourth to draw the stoppage.

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
31 fights 30 wins 1 loss
By knockout 18 0
By decision 12 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
31 Win 30–1   Kiko Martínez TKO 5 (12), 2:52 May 18, 2019   Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
30 Win 29–1   Joseph Diaz UD 12 May 19, 2018   MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
29 Win 28–1   Óscar Escandón TKO 7 (12), 0:59 May 20, 2017   MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
28 Win 27–1   Patrick Hyland KO 2 (12), 1:33 Apr 16, 2016   Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
27 Win 26–1   Jhonny González TKO 4 (12), 0:37 Mar 28, 2015   Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBC featherweight title
26 Win 25–1   Christopher Martin Peña UD 10 Dec 20, 2014   Little Creek Casino Resort, Shelton, Washington, U.S.
25 Loss 24–1   Vasyl Lomachenko MD 12 Jun 21, 2014   StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S. For vacant WBO featherweight title
24 Win 24–0   Miguel Tamayo KO 4 (8), 1:04 Jan 30, 2014   Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.
23 Win 23–0   Juan Ruiz UD 10 Aug 9, 2013   Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
22 Win 22–0   Vyacheslav Gusev UD 10 Mar 2, 2013   The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
21 Win 21–0   Roberto Castaneda KO 3 (10), 1:25 Nov 9, 2012   Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
20 Win 20–0   Christopher Pérez TKO 3 (10), 1:41 Jun 30, 2012   Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
19 Win 19–0   Heriberto Ruiz KO 1 (10), 2:12 Nov 26, 2011   U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
18 Win 18–0   Leonilo Miranda UD 8 Sep 3, 2011   Beau Rivage, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
17 Win 17–0   Eric Estrada UD 8 Jul 23, 2011   Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 16–0   Antonio Meza KO 4 (8), 2:42 Jun 17, 2011   State Farm Arena, Hidalgo, Texas, U.S.
15 Win 15–0   Adolfo Landeros UD 6 Apr 15, 2011   Longshoremen's Hall, San Francisco, California, U.S.
14 Win 14–0   Feider Viloria TD 7 (8), 0:50 Jan 28, 2011   Four Points by Sheraton, San Diego, California, U.S. Unanimous TD after Viloria was cut from an accidental head clash
13 Win 13–0   Guadalupe de Leon UD 6 Oct 28, 2010   Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
12 Win 12–0   Willie Villanueva KO 1 (6), 2:56 Sep 25, 2010   Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica Resorts, Mississippi, U.S.
11 Win 11–0   Mauricio Pastrana TKO 1 (6), 1:46 Jul 22, 2010   Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
10 Win 10–0   Rodrigo Aranda KO 2 (6), 0:34 Jun 24, 2010   Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
9 Win 9–0   Carlos Diaz KO 1 (6), 1:32 Apr 16, 2010   The New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
8 Win 8–0   Jairo Delgado KO 1 (6), 2:38 Feb 19, 2010   Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
7 Win 7–0   David Orosco Cano TKO 1 (4), 2:58 Jan 30, 2010   Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica Resorts, Mississippi, U.S.
6 Win 6–0   Rodrigo Romero TKO 3 (4), 0:38 Dec 18, 2009   Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Hinckley, Minnesota, U.S.
5 Win 5–0   Noe Lopez Jr. UD 4 Oct 23, 2009   Entertainment Center, Laredo, Texas, U.S.
4 Win 4–0   Jason Jones TKO 1 (4), 0:28 Aug 7, 2009   Star of the Desert Arena, Primm, Nevada, U.S.
3 Win 3–0   Alvaro Muro UD 4 May 1, 2009   Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, U.S.
2 Win 2–0   John Wampash UD 4 Feb 14, 2009   BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida, U.S.
1 Win 1–0   Antonio Reyes TKO 3 (4), 0:21 Jan 16, 2009   Million Dollar Elm Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Premier Boxing Champions tale of the tape prior to the Kiko Martínez fight.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Doug Fischer (December 28, 2011). "Readers vote Gary Russell Jr. the Prospect of the Year for 2011". The Ring. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Chris Mannix (December 19, 2011). "Prospect of the Year - Gary Russell Jr. -'s 2011 Boxing Awards". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Dan Rafael (December 27, 2011). "2011 prospect of the year Gary Russell Jr". ESPN. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "U.S. boxer Russell collapses, out of Olympics - 2008 Olympics -". CNN. August 8, 2008.
  7. ^ "Russell Jr. eager to take the next step after another easy victory". July 24, 2010.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Amateur boxing titles
Torrence Daniels
U.S. Golden Gloves
bantamweight champion

Efraín Esquivias
Roberto Benitez
U.S. bantamweight champion
2005, 2006
Ronny Rios
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Jhonny González
WBC featherweight champion
March 28, 2015 – present
Michael Moorer
1988; discontinued until 2011
The Ring Prospect of the Year
Keith Thurman
Canelo Álvarez
ESPN Prospect of the Year
David Price