Spotlight on Russell vs. Puello


Spotlight on Russell vs. Puello

PBC's June 15th pay-per-view event lineup will feature Gary Antuanne Russell, from the fighting Russell family, stepping in for a twelve-round showdown against former WBA champion Alberto Puello, who was stripped for doping violations. The 140-pound clash will be contested for the WBC's interim title. Fighting out of his native Capitol Heights, Maryland, Russell (17-0, 17 KOs) will carry on the legacy left by his late father Gary Sr. A member of one of the sport’s preeminent fighting families, Russell trains alongside his older brothers, former WBC featherweight champion Gary Jr. and bantamweight contender Gary Antonio. The 27-year old has yet to allow an opponent to make it to the final bell since turning pro in 2017. He also represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Russell defeated his most accomplished foes to date in 2022, stopping former champion Viktor Postol in February before a TKO win against former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy in July. Most recently, he blasted out the previously undefeated Kent Cruz in one round last August.
“Being at the top is only meant for one person, but the journey is always meant to have an audience,” said Russell. “Make sure you watch this pay-per-view on June 15, because everyone knows what I bring when fight night comes.”
Puello (22-0, 10 KOs) returned to action last December, his first bout since winning his world title, as he scored a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten Ector Madera. Puello captured the WBA championship with a victory over Batyr Akhmedov in August of 2022. A native of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, Puello now resides and trains in Las Vegas. He first shot up the rankings in July 2019, when he bested the previously unbeaten Jonathan Alonso via unanimous decision to capture an interim title. The 29-year old also owns a unanimous decision triumph over VeShawn Owens in his U.S. debut that came in July 2021. He lost his title in 2023 after testing positive for a banned substnace.

“It’s a great honor to be fighting on this platform on June 15th,” said Puello. “I’ve been waiting patiently for a fight like this and now is the time to show the world that I’m worthy of the opportunity. Gary Antuanne Russell is exactly the type of opponent I want right now, because I know what a victory will do for my career. There’s a belt on the line and I’m coming to win it by any means necessary.”


MAY 10, 2023:
The WBA has demoted Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic from junior welterweight champion to the temporary designation of champion in recess. The reason is that Puello tested positive for a banned substance according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). The WBA also announced that this weekend's fight between Rolando Romero and Ismael Barroso will replace Puello as the WBA 140-pound champion. As for Puello, a final decision on his status will be made after May 17th, when he attends a Nevada Athletic Commission hearing and/or if a VADA report indicates a negative result on the B test of the original urine sample.

The winner of the Romero-Barroso bout will be ordered by the WBA to face Ohara Davies of the United Kingdom no later than 120 days after May 13th. In the event that Romero-Barroso ends in a draw or no decision, the WBA will reconsider the 140-pound case and issue a new ruling pending the outcome of Puello’s hearing with the Nevada Commission and the possibility of testing the B sample.