Russell and Ali Enjoy Successful Debuts, Yanez to Box on February 20

Jan. 22, 2009, 12:40 p.m. (ET)
 Two 2008 Olympians enjoyed professional debuts over the weekend with Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) and Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) both putting early ends to their fights.

Russell took the ring on January 16 under the bright lights of Showtime's ShoBox, but it didn't deter him from putting on a show in his bout with Antonio Reyes (Dallas, Texas). Russell recorded a third round TKO over Reyes in their featherweight match-up to make a successful entrance into professional boxing.

Ali stepped through the ropes only 24 hours later, taking on Ricky Thompson in his professional debut. The 20-year-old also enjoyed an early evening, winning a first TKO over Thompson to enter the pro ranks in victorious fashion on the undercard of Andre Berto's match-up with fellow New Yorker Luis Collazo.

Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) will be the sixth United States Olympian to step onto the professional side when he headlines a February 20th card at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Yanez will take on Julio Cesar Valadez in front of a hometown crowd, and the junior bantamweight contest will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CST.