The father and trainer of three of the sport's finest fighters and a role model to many more died on Monday.
Boxing has lost a legend. The Premier Boxing Champions family wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gary Russell Sr., the patriarch of the fighting Russell family and one of the pillars of the sport, who died on Monday, May 23 at the age of 63.
Russell Sr.’s journey into boxing began when he took his oldest son, Gary Antonio Jones, to a local recreational center in order to keep him away from the trappings of Capital Heights, Maryland. Unable to afford one of the boxing coaches at the gym, he took it upon himself to train his children.
Russell Sr.’s subsequent four sons each won Golden Gloves National Championships, an unprecedented feat in a sport heralded for its fighting family tradition. Gary Russell Jr. became the WBC featherweight world champion in 2015. Super bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell and super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russell are both current undefeated contenders closing in on world title shots in their respective divisions.
In 2015, Russell Sr. suffered a mild stroke. Yet he soldiered on, training his sons.
“Any man can make a baby – any animal, a dog or a wolf, can make babies. But it doesn’t make them a parent,” Gary Antuanne Russell told Ring Magazine. “My father has always been a parent, and my father not only groomed us to be well-rounded, but he’s given us this fantasy of order how things should be, and it’s become our reality. It started through his actions.”
In 2021, Russell Sr. battled a series of health issues yet he continued his calling, remaining in the gym with a watchful eye over his children. May all of us keep the entire Russell family in our thoughts and prayers.