Gary Antuanne absorbing all the Russell lessons

Second-youngest sibling of the Capitol Heights, Maryland-based Gary Russell brothers is looking to follow older bro, Gary Russell Jr.'s, championship blueprint.

Gary Autuanne Russell, (left to right), Gary Jr. and Gary Antonio celebrate father and trainer Gary Russell Sr.'s 58th birthday last May. (Tom Casino/Showtime)

Gary Autuanne Russell is the second-youngest of the six Russell brothers of Capitol Heights, Maryland, who are named after their father and trainer, Gary Sr. And he is perhaps the most studious and observant, if not, professionally precocious of the left-handed siblings. 

Nicknamed “The Last” Russell, Antuanne, 21, has not only absorbed his father’s teachings, but also knowledge and wisdom from older siblings. There is WBC 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr., who is 29. Gary Allan III, who is 27. Gary Antonio, who is 25. And there is Gary Darreke, who is 23. And though Gary Antuanne is called “The Last’’ that is not chronologically correct. There is 18-year-old Gary Isaiah.

Gary “Mr.” Russell Jr. and Gary Antuanne reached the Olympic games in 2008 and 2016, respectively, and Allan and Antonio have all won National Golden Gloves titles. Darreke’s career was cut short by a medical condition and Isaiah’s sport is basketball. 

“They have different personalities but make decisions and discuss their career paths as a unit,” said Gary Sr., a former boxer who began training his sons in the family’s basement and continues out of the family-owned Enigma Boxing Gym in Capitol Heights.
 
“Antuanne was valedictorian of Croom Vocational High School’s Class of 2015 and still lives at home, but he has his hand in real-estate. And as the youngest of those still fighting, Antuanne has the privilege of learning from what he sees and hears during the training of Gary Jr. and Gary Antonio.”

Gary Antuanne has established the most blistering pace of all the fighting Russells as he pursues his sixth knockout in as many victories in 364 days on Saturday against Wilmer Rodriguez (9-2, 7 KOs) in an eight-round, 140-pound bout at the MGM Grand National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Gary Antonio (10-0, 8 KOs) will face Esteban Aquino (12-4, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder. In the Showtime-televised main event (10 p.m. ET/PT), Gary Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) defends his WBC title against top-ranked challenger Joseph Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs). They’re hoping to give their father something to celebrate the night before his 59th birthday.

It was a family affair nearly a year ago on May 20 at the MGM Grand on Gary Sr.’s 58th birthday as Gary Jr.'s seventh-round stoppage of Oscar Escandon joined first- and third-round TKOs by Antonio and Antuanne. Gary Sr., Gary Jr. and Allan worked the siblings’ corners.

“I’ve had enjoyable fights in my career, so far, but I would have to choose my pro debut as being the best,” said Gary Antuanne. “It was my father’s 58th birthday, and the crowd and the atmosphere was electric. That was a dream come true and a monumental day for me and for the rest of the family.”

Antuanne’s received major exposure in his past two fights at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He registered a second-round TKO over Keasen Freeman on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz card and scored a third-round TKO over Andrew Rogers on the Adrien Broner-Jessie Vargas show.

Gary Antuanne has transformed a positive out of losing a controversial split-decision in his Rio De Janeiro Olympic quarterfinal match to eventual gold medal winner Fazlidden Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan.

“I beat him up badly, putting him down and everything, and he goes on to win the gold medal,” said Gary Antuanne. “After that controversy, historically, they compared what happened to me to what happened to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roy Jones and Evander Holyfield. It opened my eyes to the politics of how absurd things can be. Yet I received positive recognition. I’m ahead of the game and in a better position because of it.”

But “The Last” knows that he has a long way to go to achieve the recognition of his older bro Gary Jr., his role model for success in and out of the ring

“Our foundations, conditioning and defensive skills are similar, and you can also see Antonio and I progressing.,” said Gary Antuanne. “The difference is our levels of creativity. Gary ‘Mr.’ Russell’s creativity in how we throw our hooks, set up our body shots and maintain offensive positioning at any point in the fight is better, right now, than with me and Gary “Another” Russell.

“My mission is to take everything my father and older brothers have demonstrated to me as far as information, experience and wisdom and use it to take me to the next level.”

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