The 140-pound division is quickly becoming one of the most interesting in all of boxing. With two belts left vacant by Josh Taylor and a laundry list of contenders working their way up the rankings, the division is open for the taking. One of the most promising contenders cementing themselves in the 140-pound title picture is Gary Antuanne Russell. Coming off of a stoppage victory against Viktor Postol, the Capitol Heights, Maryland native is looking to make a name for himself.
Months ago, Gary Antuanne Russell surprised many by becoming the first man to ever stop former champion Viktor Postol inside of 12 rounds. On Saturday, Russell duplicated his performance and became the first person to stop Rance Barthelemy inside of 12 rounds. Through the first five rounds, Russell and Barthelemy hurt each other and appeared to be headed toward an exciting finish. However, Russell had other plans. The Maryland native dropped Barthelemy midway through the sixth round with a right hand and the referee moved to stop the fight. While Barthelemy, his corner and much of the crowd felt the fight should have continued, the referee and the doctor had the final say.
“In the sixth round I had him backing up, I knew he was looking for his right cross and I caught him backing up and I shot my hook and put him down, he was buzzed but he wanted to keep going. He’s a warrior,” Russell said after the fight.
Moving forward, Russell will move his way up the organizational rankings and toward his first title fight. Meanwhile, the two-time world champion is seeking a rematch with Russell. While it is unlikely that he’ll earn another shot at Russell, the depth of the division will allow him to fight another contender and put himself back in the title picture.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 31, 2022