Top featherweight prospect Gary Russell, Jr. has enjoyed a full recovery from a left hand injury, which he suffered in a March 2 victory over Vyacheslav Gusev. Doctors recommended six to eight weeks of rest and the 24-year-old heeded his physician’s advice, refraining from making any contact with his left hand during that time. A well-known gym rat, Russell didn’t stop training, only altering his daily workouts to allow his hand the necessary healing time.
“I’m always in the gym with my dad and my brothers, and the hand injury didn’t change that,” Russell said. “I focused a lot of my training on strength and conditioning work over the past two months, but I was definitely ready to start punching again and we are back 100% now.”
Russell and his father and trainer, Gary Russell, Sr., have developed multiple techniques to protect his hands during their daily training sessions. The 24-year-old often trains in larger gloves to not only provide cushioning for his hands, but also maintain and improve upon his patented hand speed.
He took his expertise outside the ropes this past week at the 2013 National Golden Gloves tournament. A 2005 Golden Gloves champion, Russell, Jr., joined his father in the corner of his younger brother, Gary Antonio Russell’s bouts. The younger Russell represented the family name well, winning the bantamweight title and the Golden Boy award for Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament. Gary Antonio is the third Russell brother to win the event with Gary, Jr., and Gary Allan Russell III (2010 Champion) having also claimed Golden Gloves titles. They became only the third trio of brothers and the first since 1977 to win the event.
Russell is currently preparing for a July 13 return to the ring and looks forward to his Big Apple debut, which will allow many of his friends and family to attend the fight. He will begin his second barbershop tour in the Washington DC/Maryland area on June 15 to meet some of local fans while he undergoes training camp at his local gym in Capitol Heights, Md.