By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Allan Russell: The Boxing Champion And Actor
Gary Russell, Sr. didn’t take Allan Russell to a lot of places when he was younger, which caused him to weep repeatedly. Nowadays, the father, who walks with a limp, has a broad smile on his face.MARYLAND —
At age four, Allan began boxing at the Douglas Recreation Center in northeast, Washington, D.C.. When two older brothers, DeVaughn and Gary, Jr. brought home their shiny title belts, trophies and medals, that stimulated Allan even more.
Coming home with a black eye, a bruised nose, lip busted and his eye cut open, changed Allan mentally and physically. He had reached the point where he had enough. Since then, has returned the pain and torture to his brothers, and many others.
It’s rather difficult for Allan to get a fight in the nation’s capitol area. Opponents are hard to find. With a 201-12 record, the 2006 Junior Golden Gloves Champ from Capitol Heights, Maryland has accumulated eight belts and numerous of trophies. Allan is ranked number one nationally, and number two in the world as a 138- pound boxer.
A day with Allan, a 16-year old can be exciting and interesting. At 5am, he and his brother, Gary, Jr. begin their three- mile jog before Allan reports to school. His favorite subject, physical education keeps his body intact.
Barry Keith, a two-year Art teacher at Suitland had no idea that Allan boxed. “He’s real creative, likes to sing, very respectful and does his work”, said Keith, who was stunned after reading a February 7, 2006 Washington Post article featuring the Russell’s training in their basement.
The sophomore departs school around 3:30pm. He handles his house chores immediately. At the sound of his father’s horn, he hops in the family van headed off to Nomis Boxing Community Center.
Many spectators, young and old, marvel when he jumps rope. While sparring an older and heavier opponent, one evening, too many body shots to the rib cage by Allan abbreviated the workout.
Allan says most of his foes are one-dimensional. “I can fight and box from a southpaw or right hand stance, I know when to sit down and work, and when to dance and score points”, he told B.A.S.N..
He considers assistant coach Robert Martin one of the best mitt coaches in the world. His aggressiveness, intelligence and quickness are his strengths.Bobby McGruder, a boxing promoter in Waldorf, Maryland witnessed Allan’s power at the Waldorf Jaycees Community Center last spring.
“He won easily and out class the opponent”, said McGruder, who describes Allan as a pure boxer and puncher.
In a three round bout on November 4 at the Cora Kelly Recreation Center in Alexandria, Virginia, Allan fought Cordaro Simpkins, 17. In the opening round, he delivered several body shots and slipped a lot of punches.
A thundering right hook to Simpkins’ jaw caused his mouthpiece to land on the canvas in the second round. Russell won the bout by a shut out.”Allan is a very strong fighter, but I would like to see him again”, said the Team Norfolk boxer.
Who is Allan’s toughest foe? Gary Russell, Jr. the 119-bantamweight king. Both have fought three times, Allan winning the first bout. The second contest was an exhibition, both won.
The last fight held in 2004 at the Bowie Boxing Fair, dubbed as the hardest fight ever for Allan. “Allan is driven off of my success”, says Gary, Jr. The success of Allan can be attributed to his father. “He pushes me, yells, and helps me to get to the next level”, Allan voiced.
Allan’s four younger siblings receive encouragement all the time. “I already knew Allan would be a good boxer, who helps me to stay out of trouble, and monitors my chores”, says Antonio, a two- sport athlete.
On the contrary, Allan receives constant love from his parents and Oneida Grady, from Dale City, Virginia. “I am close and proud of my nephew”, she added. “Maybe, he can get kids his age out of trouble by inspiring them to box”.
Two essential episodes will occur in the New Year. In January, at Sugar Ray Leonard’s Gym in Palmer Park, Maryland Allan will be qualifying for the Olympic Trials, and auditioning for the hit television show called “The Wire” simultaneously.
Since October 2004, the gifted rap and dance aspirant has been an actor on “The Wire”. A director from the show noticed Allan displaying his boxing skills and commended him. The director talked to Allan’s father. Moments later he was recruited.
Allan has acted in a boxing, classroom and street scene. If his boxing mission doesn’t conflict with the upcoming audition, he’ll return to the set. “He’s done exceptionally well”, said Mecca Recio, a movie enthusiast.
The boxing scholarship recipient (to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan) remembers the words of his father: “If you and your brother can win the gold in the 2008 Olympics, then the good Lord can close my eyes”.
That smile would be even broader on the face of Gary Russell, Sr