In just her first eight-round fight, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields scored a spectacular unanimous decision victory last Friday, June 16, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit to win the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title.
Shields (3-0, 1KO) dominated tough Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc (4-2-1), winning all eight rounds on all three judges’ scorecards en route to adding the WBC Silver belt to her NABF Middleweight Championship belt. LeBlanc was simply no match for the blazing fists of crowd favorite Shields, who has convincingly established herself as a world championship-class contender in women’s boxing after just three professional fights.
(Photos by Bob Ryder)
Shields’ bout was the main event of a jam-packed Detroit Brawl event which set a new gate record for promoter Dmitriy Salita’s popular Detroit-based series.
“Claressa is one of the best boxers in the world!” said Dmitriy Salita. “Regardless of gender, her skills and experience are that of the elite fighters in the world. She is improving with each fight and the sky is the limit. Claressa is ready for the top fighters in her division and we will work on making a big championship fight happen next.”
In the 10-round co-main event, transplanted Detroit cruiserweight Alexey Zubov moved to 15-1, 9 KOs with a surprisingly easy 10-round decision over Detroit’s highly regarded Demetrius Banks (9-1, 4 KOs).
From the opening bell, the superior work rate of Zubov told the story, as the confused Banks had no answers for the big Russian’s jab. All three judges scored the fight 99-91. There were no knockdowns.
“Two of the best cruiserweight prospects in the world met in Detroit,” continued Salita. “The winner is now a real contender, ready to fight the best in the world. Alexey is much improved since his time training with Sugar Hill at the Kronk Boxing Gym. The magic of Kronk is alive and came to life in Alexey’s performance. Great things on the horizon for him!”
Another of Salita’s growing stable of promising contenders, Detroit bantamweight Ja’Rico O’Quinn (7-0, 5KOs) had too many tools for the outgunned David Martino (2-3, 2 KOs) and won by dominant unanimous decision (60-54, all three judges). A talent to watch, O’Quinn basically walked the determined Martino into his lightning-fast shots for six rounds.
“Ja’Rico’s defense was superb in his fight. His opponent was rarely able to even touch him. He is going to be a force at 118 lbs. in the not-too-distant future.”
Another surging contender from the Salita stable, junior welterweight wrecking ball Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) needed just 1:41 of round one to chew up and spit out Mexico’s Cesar Soriano. Eyubov targeted the body of Soriano and took away his breath with thudding left hoods to the liver that ended things quickly. Eyubov is an animal.
“Bakhtiyar went up a weight class because no one will fight him. This fight showed why,” said Salita. “He is too strong for most fighters to stay in with for very long. He will be in a big fight in the near future. He’s ready.”
In other results, Michigan’s Antonio Urista (8-2, 2 KOs), pulled off a surprising upset with a six-round unanimous decision (59-53 and 58-54 and 58-54) over Turkmenistan’s Serdar Hudayberdiyev (3-1, 2 KOs). Urista dropped Hudayberdiyev with a looping right hand and he never fully recovered. Both fighters suffered cuts in this rugged affair.
To open the show, Michigan light heavyweight Darren Gibbs (1-2, I KO) picked up his first professional victory with a 30-second TKO1 over debuting Scott McCurdy; Jacob Bonas (3-0-1, 2 KOs) scored a TKO3 over Tony Brooks (1-2) and Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 5 KOs) stayed undefeated with a fifth-round TKO over a surprisingly determined Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs).
“Thank you to everyone involved in this terrific show,” said Dmitriy Salita. “The fans of Michigan asked for world-class boxing and they’ve responded by filling the Masonic Temple. And thank you to all my great sponsors for all their help and congratulations to all the fighters for their brave performances. It is onward and upward for Claressa Shields, who will be back later this summer against a world-class fighter. Clearly, she is ready for anyone in the world.”
For more information on the “Detroit Brawl” or Salita Promotions, visit www.salitapromotions.com. Facebook and Twitter: @DetroitBrawl
About Salita Promotions
Salita Promotions was founded in 2010 by Dmitriy Salita, a professional boxer and world-title challenger who saw the need for a promotional entity to feature boxing’s best young prospects and established contenders in North America and around the world. Viewers watching fighters on worldwide television networks including Showtime, ESPN, Spike TV, Universal Sports Network and MSG have enjoyed Salita Promotions fight action in recent years. We pride ourselves on offering our fighters opportunities inside and outside the ring. Salita Promotions looks forward to continuing to grow and serve the needs of fight fans around the globe.
Andre Courtemanche, Salita Promotions: (954) 302.2462