"Handsome Cat" John Russell worked as a dishwasher in Howie's Bar located near the 5th Street Gym on Miami Beach.
Russell was also a well-known bouncer in the Overtown and Liberty City sections of Miami-Dade County. At 6ft. 8inch. and almost 240 pounds of muscle; few dared to cross paths with him.
Russell worked primarily as a sparring partner, but decided to become a professional fighter under the promotion of Chris Dundee.
Russell made his pro debut against undefeated Al Migliorato (14-0-2). Migliorato knocked out the 6ft. 8inch. Russell with a 2-punch combination in 18 seconds. Russell never fought again.
A painting of Russell (pictured above) hung in the BuckTown Pool Hall for a number of years.
Russell was shot and killed in a bar brawl in 1976.