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.