From The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Maryland, Capitol Heights native Gary Antuanne Russell (17-0, 17 KOs) made quick work of previously undefeated Kent Cruz (16-1-3, 10 KOs), securing his eighth career first-round knockout by sending Cruz to the canvas two minutes and 39 seconds into the super lightweight bout.

Russell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, first knocked down Cruz with a left uppercut to the chin. Cruz beat the count, and tried to survive, but then he was downed for the count after taking some heavy shots to the head and body.

“This is obviously good,” Russell said. “I saw the opening and I took it, and I was trying to remain disciplined defensively at the same time. More than anything, I was trying to make sure I could end it in the first round.

“I wasn't shooting for the knockout streak, but that's just what happened during a minute and a half worth of work tonight. If the opportunity is there, why not take it?”

Cruz was overweight for the fight and entered the ring as the bigger man. On Friday, he weighed in at 142.5-pounds for the junior welterweight contest. Despite the size advantage, he was unable to withstand the punching power of Russell.

The victory snapped a year-long layoff for Russell. His last fight came off in July of 2017, when he dropped and stopped former world champion Rances Barthelemy in the sixth round of action.