Athlete of the Week: Lamar Russ

April 20, 2009, 10:22 a.m. (ET)

Name:  Lamar Russ
Age:  22
Hometown:  Wilmington, NC
Height:  6' 2"
Weight class:  165 lbs.
Coach's name:  Al Smith
Club name:  Wilmington Boxing Club

Lamar Russ's mother first introduced him to the sweet science.  She worked at a boxing gym in Wilmington, N. C., and took her son to work out after school.  There, Russ found mentors in the ranked boxers and absorbed any and all tips and pointers they gave him.  Apparently, it worked.

Russ is currently ranked number five in the men's senior division and has won his state championships six years in a row.  He attributes his focus and knowledge to his success in the ring, saying "I out think a person as far as boxing, instead of using strength.  Boxing is a thinking sport.  A lot of people neglect that."

But earning a high rank in the United States and winning a plethora of consecutive championships don't measure up to Russ's most memorable boxing moment.  He cites that as being the first time he boxed in front of his mother.  "She was always in the [gym's] office, but she never got to see me train or spar," he says.  "She's seen a lot of other boxing but she never got to see me in action."  He says he wasn't nervous for the big event, but wanted to make sure he impressed his mother, who first introduced him to the sport that became the love of his life.

"Every aspect, every article, every news clipping I thank my mom and god."  This one is no different.