Gary Antuanne Russell laser-focused in stoppage of Jovanie Santiago
Rising junior welterweight prospect Gary Antuanne Russell (13-0, 13ko) is looking to keep his 0 and knockout streak intact as he takes on tough Puerto Rican fighter Jovanie “El Lobito” Santiago (14-1-1, 10ko).
Some fans may remember Santiago. On February 20, he fought four-divisional champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner in a fight many felt he won. The Puerto Rican fighter suffered his first career defeat that night. However, he gave a good account of himself and will now look to use his experience from the previous fight against Russell.
Russell comes from a deeply rooted boxing background. He is the younger brother of Gary Antonio Russell and WBC Featherweight champion “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr. This a good test for the young prospect. Besides, winning the fight by knockout against a tough fighter like Santiago would be a statement-maker.
THE YOUNG MAN WAS LASER-FOCUSED
Russell came out looking to enforce his will on his opponent. He built everything off the jab and found a home with that straight left hand. Santiago tried to fight off the backfoot. However, he was unsuccessful until he was able to get inside and land a good counter-left hook. Still, Russell kept the pressure on and could not miss with the straight left hand. Even at close range, the young prospect was landing right hooks to the body.
Santiago, looking to be the first man to get past the fourth round against Russell, almost did not make it. A perfect right-hook counter dropped the Puerto Rican fighter. El Lobito survived the barrage of punches to make it out of the round. However, Santiago has formed a cut over the right eye. It is becoming clear the power and speed of Russell is a serious problem. As the fight continued, Russell was laser-focused, showing all the tools in the toolbox. He tactically doubled up on the jab while landing the straight left to the pit of the stomach, forcing Santiago against the ropes.
UNBLEMISHED RECORD STILL STANDS
The stoppage was clearly coming and it was only a matter of time. Russell laid into Santiago with several vicious, left uppercuts to the stomach. He then, again, split the guard of his opponent and followed up with two painful left and right hook counters.
By the end of the sixth round, the corner of the Puerto Rican fighter had seen enough and stopped the fight. It may have taken more time than he would have liked, but the younger Russell keeps both his 0 and knockout record flawless.
By: Garrisson Bland