Undefeated With A Bright Future

By Kevin Wilson
Updated: December 8, 2005

Antuanne Russell

Antuanne Russell Photo by Robert Eubanks

CAPITAL HEIGHTS, MD.—There are six Russell brothers. Many say the youngest one is the best. He competes in sprints, and rides a bike to strengthen his leg muscles. He likes football, but to rumble in the ring is an obsession. Four years ago, Antuanne Russell explored the sport that made Jack Johnson, a trendsetter.

At age nine, he has an unblemished boxing record, 15-0. The saga began in the basement of Gary and Lawan Russell’s home in Capitol Heights, Maryland. His father and brothers, who have impressive amateur records, inspired him.

“My brothers teach me a lot, like how to throw my jab to the body and throwing a hook upstairs,” he explains with a smile.

Antuanne Russell

Antuanne Russell Photo by Robert Eubanks

Antuanne enjoys throwing his left and right hook, along with being victorious. Before the sound of the bell, he thinks about attacking the opponent. At his boxing debut in 2004, at the Kennedy Recreation Center in Washington, D.C., he out pointed Marquell Tyler, a D.C. Headbanger, who was three years older, in a three round bout.

“I was nervous,” Antuanne admits. Later on, he journeyed south for the 2004 Augusta Boys Junior National Summer Boxing Classic Championship. He won the 60- pound weight division to earn a belt.

For reasons unknown, it’s difficult for Antuanne to acquire a fight in the local area. On October 29 at Sugar Ray Leonard’s gym, he was scheduled to fight, but the contestant backed out.

“They come up with all types of excuses not to fight my boys,” say Gary Russell, Sr., former boxing coach at the D.C. Parks and Recreation.

Fortunately, the next day, this young pugilist got his wish. He fought another D.C. Headbanger, Jalonte Cole. Winning easily, the 68- pound weight division, Antuanne, a southpaw, took out his bitterness on Cole.

“It was a pretty intense fight, but Antuanne was the aggressor, bringing the fight to Jalonte and he threw more punches, “ says D.C. Headbangers assistant coach Dale King.

Gary Russell, Sr. says, “Antuanne is following suit of his brothers, he’s strong, he fights with style and his training is different.” Sparring a 13- year old at Fit to Fight Gym in Temple Hills, Maryland, the undefeated king unknowingly impressed the entire gym.

Bernard Roach, a 25 -year boxing advocate witnessed the action. “Antuanne handled his business for sure, he’s a pro-amateur all ready, and I applaud his father,” Roach said. “If his surroundings can seduce him, he’ll go very far.”

Antuanne Russell and his brother

Antuanne Russell and his brother Antonio working out.

Photo by Robert Eubanks

The brotherly love is endless within the Russell household. Antonio, 36-6, works out with his youngest brother every evening. “I feel very, very, good about Antuanne, and I encourage him to stay off the streets, to do his homework, and be obedient around the house,” says the 12- year old.

“We work together to make it right.”

Antuanne considers parental guidance extremely essential. He appreciates his father’s boxing knowledge, and his mother telling him, to be the best you can be. When time permits, he tunes into Tom and Jerry, a popular cartoon, and toys with the XBox.

Antuanne Russell

Antuanne Russell Photo by Robert Eubanks

Humbly, Antuanne says, “ I am proud of my brothers, who train so hard to be where they are today. I am doing my best and training hard. I am the best in the house right now because I haven’t lost, yet.” Years from now, he hopes to be a gold medalist winner, a graduate of Howard University and pro bound. Concluding a potential illustrious boxing career, he plans to emulate his father, by becoming a trainer and owning a gym.

During the week, Antuanne attends Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Capitol Heights, Maryland. The student-athlete loves Math, Art, and Reading. No doubt, for this dedicated boxer, more wins will be calculated, he’s artfully talented in the ring, and the sportswriters will be interviewing him for years to come.