When your name is Gary Russell and you are from Washington, D.C., it isn't easy to stand out. Winning a national Golden Gloves championship should do the trick.
Gary Antonio Russell learned that on Saturday night as the 2013 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions wrapped up by crowning 10 individual champions and a franchise (team) winner at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
In the 123-pound division, Detroit's Ja'Rico O'Quinn said after his semifinal win on Friday that he had been waiting a long time to fight Russell.
However, Russell who has six brothers who also have the first name of Gary had O'Quinn well-scouted and took home the belt. He won the Golden Boy Award as the tournament's most outstanding boxer.
The sons of Gary Russell Sr., all go by their middle name, except one Gary Russell Jr., who happens to be 22-0 as a professional. Gary Antonio Russell is the third brother to win a national Golden Gloves title.
"This was a little more difficult to win than the USA Boxing [title in Spokane, Wash.]," Gary Antonio Russell said. "I faced better competition, and the altitude here in Salt Lake City kinda made it more difficult."
It was Gary Antonio Russell's fourth trip to the Golden Gloves national tournament, but first championship.
"It feels as good as I thought it would," he said.
Texas wrapped up the team title on Friday night, its second in three years despite losing all six of its semifinal bouts so Saturday's focus was clearly on the 10 championship bouts.
"We have a real young team, a real humble, respectful team," said Texas' first-year coach, cowboy-boots-and-hat-wearing Joe Guzman. "But they fight like veterans."
After Texas "got kicked in the you-know-what" in the semifinals, in Guzman's words, Pennsylvania put the most boxers into the finals three but went 1-2. That tally included a mildly controversial loss at 165 pounds when judges gave the decision to Colorado-New Mexico's Marquis Moore over Kyrone Davis of Pennyslvania.
In the 114-pound title bout, Stephen Fulton Jr. of Philadelphia took a close win over Chicago's Cristian Williams, six weeks after losing in the USA Boxing national championship bout in a heavier division, 123 lbs.
Super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome, who won his third Golden Gloves crown and 10th national title overall, donned a pink and black cape and pranced around the ring after defeating Jermaine Franklin of Michigan in the final.
Final team results
1. Texas 2. Kansas City 3. Knoxville
Saturday's championship bouts
Nico Hernandez, Kansas-Oklahoma, dec. Tyrone Arzeno, Pennsylvania
Stephen Fulton Jr., Pennsylvania, dec. Cristian Williams, Chicago
Gary Antonio Russell, Washington, D.C., dec. Ja'Rico O'Quinn, Detroit
Lamont Roach, Jr., Washington, D.C., dec. Maliek Montgomery, Knoxville
Julian Rodriguez, New Jersey, dec. Eddie Ramirez, Chicago
Erickson Lubin, Florida, dec. Ardreal Holmes Jr., Michigan
Marquis Moore, Colorado-New Mexico, dec. Kyrone Davis, Pennsylvania
Steven Nelson, Colorado-New Mexico, dec. Randy Foster, Knoxville
Earl Newman, New York Metro, dec. Joshua Temple, St. Louis
Cam F. Awesome, Kansas City, dec. Jermaine Franklin, Michigan