News

Russell: I want to show I’m a superstar

Super-lightweight puncher Gary Antuanne Russell is hoping to make his big breakthrough when he meets Jovanie Santiago in a 10-rounder on the Nordine Oubaali vs Nonito Donaire bill at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, tomorrow night.

The surname will be familiar, but until now Russell, younger brother of gifted WBC featherweight champion Gary, has fought early on undercards awaiting his opportunity.

Russell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, has built an eye-catching 13-0, 13 KOs record in the shadows, but will step into the limelight to meet capable Puerto Rican Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday’s Showtime broadcast in America.

Santiago gave Adrien Broner a torrid night in February with his body-punching and aggression before losing on the cards, and the charismatic Russell believes a war is in prospect tomorrow.

“I’m in the hurt business. He’s a slugger. If he wants to come in there and slug with me, he will feel my power. He will see how intelligent I am. Not just mentally, but physically with my hands. Like I said, I’m in the hurt business. I come to hurt,” said Russell.

“Pardon my lack of Spanish, but what you are going to see is, ‘la violencia’. He’s going to bring his pressure. He’s going to bring punches in bunches and I believe that’s all he can bring. If he’s been training and trying to perfect himself for my style of fighting, that’s fine. You’re not supposed to come in here one-dimensional. A diamond shines from all sides.

“The only thing I can say is this venue is going to promote blood, sweat and tears and the desire of people to be great. I’m definitely one of them. I’ve been in the gym giving my blood, my sweat and my tears and I’m bringing all of that to this venue come Saturday night.

“I want to show that I’m the cream of the crop. I’m a superstar. The light hasn’t been shining on me because there’s a lot of other things going on. Until then, you’re going to have to wait and see. Come Saturday, it will be a great show. There will be some sparks and fireworks. I have an opponent that’s not willing to lay down. If he’s not willing to, I must make him lay down.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions.