(CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD.) – Decorated amateur and 2008 Olympian Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) has turned professional, signing with respected boxing manager Al Haymon. Russell moves onto the professional ranks following a highly successful amateur career, which culminated with a berth on the 2008 United States Olympic Team.
The 20-year-old Russell has been involved in the sport of boxing since he was a young child and looks forward to making the next step in his career. “I am ready to take my skills and talent onto the professional ranks,” Russell said. “I have dreamt of becoming a world champion since I was young and I believe that Al and his team will help me to get to that point.”
Russell will make his professional debut on January 17 in the 126 pound weight division at a location to be determined. His father, Gary Russell, Sr., has served as his son’s trainer since he first tied on the gloves and will continue in that role as the younger Russell moves onto the pro side.
The Washington DC native has impressed boxing fans since he was six-years-old, showcasing his patented speed by shadowboxing during intermissions of boxing shows before he was old enough to compete. Known for his rare combination of blazing hand speed and thundering power, the southpaw is prepared for his transition to professional boxing. “I believe my style is perfectly suited to professional boxing,” Russell said. “I can’t wait to take off the headgear, put on smaller gloves and showcase all of my skills.”
Russell has won amateur titles at every level, and claimed both a U.S. Championships title and National Golden Gloves championship at only 16. Despite being the youngest member of the team, Russell went on to win a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships at 17-years-old. He continued to defy the odds at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, joining boxing legends Evander Holyfield and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., in boxing out of the Challengers bracket, recording six straight victories to earn a spot on the Olympic Team.
The 20-year-old comes from a true boxing family with four younger brothers also boxing and his father training the entire brood. Russell, Sr., was a professional heavyweight and brought all of his sons into the sport as youngsters.