(JUNE 20) 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
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.
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
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."