- American boxer Gary Antuanne Russell defeated Ukrainian fighter Viktor Postol late, last month.
- He told us he has sympathy for his opponent, who returned to war-torn Ukraine after the bout.
- Russell wants a quick turnaround as he said he wants to fight again in a couple of months.
LAS VEGAS – Gary Antuanne Russell has “a different respect” for Viktor Postol after their boxing match last month, as the Ukraine boxer would have been consumed with thoughts regarding his family’s safety back home.
Russell and Postol fought at a Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime event that took place February 26 inside The Chelsea theater in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, before the American stopped him in the 10th round.
Russell reflected later on the win to Insider, said he has “emotional sympathy” for what Postol and his compatriots are going through amid Russian invasion, and that he wants to return to the ring in a matter of months.
“I’ve got to show some type of emotional sympathy for him because that’s his family, his friends,” Russel said.
“His kids and his wife could possibly be at stake right now. It’s a serious matter,” the 25-year-old said.
Russia shelled multiple Ukraine cities since invading February 24, caused the civilian deaths of hundreds – if not thousands – of people since then, and seized Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant Friday.
Speaking last week, Russell said he’s praying that things “resolve soon” for Postol “at home.”
He said: “Boxing is what I do, but it does not define who I am. So take boxing away, me as a human being, I care for other people’s lives. I’m not just a flamboyant person – I care.
“For him to be going through what he’s going through and still participating in a brutal sport, I know that can harm a person mentally.”
Russell wants to return to the ring in the months ahead
Russell finished Postol when he had his opponent hurt, before following up with a barrage of strikes until the referee intervened somewhat questionably, as Postol, with his experience, could have likely fought on.
Insider asked Russell – who has finished every opponent he’s faced in the pro game so far – if there were any learnings to take from being 29 seconds away from his first decision.
“He did not bring anything to the table I had not seen before,” he said. “I’m my worst critic and strongest opponent. I just can not be making a fight bigger than what it is. I magnified it when it should not be.”
Prior to the Postol bout, Russell had boxed just once since February 2020 – a sixth-round retirement of Jovanie Santiago in California.
He told us he wants to fight frequently in 2022. “I can say within two months, maybe another month and a half, you can be looking forward to my next fight being promoted.”
But as far as opponents he wants to face, that’s “TBA,” meaning, to be announced. “Stay tuned,” he said.