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Gary Russell Jr. defending against Mark Magsayo this Saturday, Jan.22 in Atlantic City

Gary Russell Jr. boxing photo

By Ken Hissner: This coming Saturday over Showtime Championship Boxing WBC World Featherweight champion Gary “Mr.” Russell, Jr. will be making his sixth title defense against unbeaten Filipino Mark Magsayo at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is a Tom Brown (TGB Promotions) event.

Russell is one of three active brothers in the family, while the two others are unbeaten. Gary Antonio Russell was the 2013 National Golden Gloves champion. As a professional, Russell is 19-0 with 12 stoppages. In his last bout on November 17th of 2021, he won a majority decision over Alexandro ”Peque” Santiago, 24-3-5 (13), out of Tijuana, Mexico, over ten rounds, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In his prior bout, Russell was up against one of the top contenders WBA No. 9 ranked Emmanuel Rodriguez, 19-2; after just 0:16 seconds, an accidental head butt caused Rodriguez not able to continue. This took place at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, CA, in August.

In the fight before this, Russell’s bout also ended via an accidental head butt in the seventh round though it happened in the fifth round. He was ahead by scores of 59-55 twice and 58-56 over Dominican Juan Carlos Payano, 21-5, out of Miami, Florida.

Russell is currently ranked No. 2 by the WBA and No. 9 by the IBF. He turned professional in January of 2015, winning his first six bouts defeated Rudolph Hedge, 10-3-3, over six rounds at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. In his twelfth bout in August of 2018, he scored a sensational first round knockout over Nick Otieno, 31-14, at the Minneapolis Armory, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Gary Russell Jr. boxing photo

Russell followed up with a sixth round stoppage of Jose Maria Cardenas, 16-3, at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York.

The third active Russell is unbeaten Gary Antuanne Russell, who represented the USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He won his first two bouts before losing to Fazliddin Gailbnazarov, of Uzbekistan 2-1, who went on to win the Gold Medal. The latter is currently 9-1 as a pro.

Russell had won three out of four over current top-ranked IBF welterweight contender Jaron “Boots” Ennis. He turned professional in May of 2017, scoring his ninth consecutive stoppage knocking out Nicaragua’s Marcos “Bombardero” Mojica, 16-3-2, in four rounds at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York.

Two fights later, Russell scored a big first round knockout over Mexico’s Luis Ronaldo “Loco” Castillo, 20-4, at the Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield, CA. In his last bout, he stopped Puerto Rico’s Jovanie “El Lobito” Santiago, 14-1-1, at the end of six rounds at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, CA, in May of 2021. This was his fourteen straight stoppages.

Getting back to this Saturday’s Showtime show, the co-feature has a rematch featuring Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias, 17-1 with 17 stoppages, who had his unbeaten streak stopped in February of 2020 by Saturday’s opponent Armenian Petros Ananlyan, 16-2-2, out of L.A., CA.

Since Matias’ defeat, he has won two back-to-back wins by stoppage over a pair of 18-0 opponents. In October, he stopped Malik Hawkins, after six rounds at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut. In his last bout, he stopped Kazakhstan’s Batyrzhan Jukembayev out of Canada in 8 rounds.

In another 10, Mongolia’s Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar, 12-2 (9), tries to bounce bag from a defeat in his last bout against Nambia’s Sakaria “Desert Storm” Lukas, 25-1 (17), over ten rounds.

The rest of the undercard is stacked with young talent in an eight rounder is super bantamweight Abimael Ortiz, 9-1-1 (5), out of Puerto Rico, taking on Ryan “Stone” Lee Allen, 10-5-1, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

There will be three six rounder’s with LeShawn “Lightning” Rodriguez, 12-0 (9), out of Port Jefferson, New York, taking on Sixto Suazo, 9-2-1 (7), of Atlanta, Georgia. Philadelphia’s Featherweight Rasheen Brown, 11-0 (7), takes on Japan’s Katsuma “El Cuete Japonecito” Akitsugi, 7-0 (1), out of Hollywood, CA.

In the opener, the son of former Heavyweight champion Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield is super welterweight Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield, 8-0 (6), out of Atlanta, GA, taking on Chris Rollins, 5-3-1 (4), of Charlottesville, VA.

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