Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

(photos by Silvia Jones)

(May 19th) Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Women's NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa "T-Rex" Shields had a very special visitor at her gym yesterday, none other than all-time Michigan great Thomas "Hitman" Hearns.

 

Hearns, from Detroit, is the 1980 and 1984 The Ring Magazine "Fighter of the Year" and the first boxer in history to win world titles in five weight divisions: welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight.

 

22-year-old Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, is currently preparing for her eight-round main event against Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship at Salita Promotions' "Detroit Brawl" on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

 

Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for "Detroit Brawl" are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

  

"I came out to see her because I want her to do well. I think it's wonderful that a female fighter is the best from Michigan right now," said Hearns. "The world is all about change and this is change for the better. I feel good about it. The champions from the past from Michigan are passing the torch to the next great fighter from here and that's Claressa. The fans in Michigan should come out and help support her because she is the future."

 

Shields said she was humbled to have such an all-time great supporting her.

 

"To have Tommy Hearns come out to my gym means a lot to me, I feel like I'm moving my career in the right direction and getting the right attention. I'm not just some girl putting on some gloves. It means a lot to be the latest big-name fighter to come from Michigan. I'm glad Tommy Hearns chose to come here and it does feel like a passing of the torch. He is very supportive and it feels great to be respected by such a great world champion."

 

Shields says her training is going extremely well for her third professional and second championship fight.

 

"Training so far has been going really good. We're 29 days out of the fight and I'm in the best shape of my life. I trained hard for my six-rounder and that only went four rounds and I feel like I'm still in shape from that. Now I'm getting ready for eight rounds and I feel great. I'm fighting at 168 pounds and I'm at 168 right now. I haven't been having weight problems and I'm eating right and running every day."

 

Shields promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says Hearns indicated he was very impressed with Shields' gym work.

 

"Claressa is the next boxing superstar from the state of Michigan," he said. "It's a very special passing of the torch from such a living legend who lives in Detroit as Tommy Hearns. Mr. Hearns, who is a Detroit boxing icon and a great ambassador of the sport, was very impressed with Claressa's skills and training regimen."

 

Salita says he sees Shields' potential for superstardom and her ability to revive the energy in Michigan boxing.  

 

"Detroit is Americas Greatest Comeback city. We are going to see a revival of world-class boxing, ushered in by a young lady from Flint who despite growing up in very difficult circumstances, is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, the most accomplished boxer every to come out of the USA boxing program. This is only her third pro bout, and she is fighting for the WBC Silver title on June 16. We are witnessing something very special here and it's very ironic that it's all taking place close to Detroit, which is fighting back for its own recognition again as one of Americas Greatest cities."

Top Cruiserweight Prospects

Banks and Zubov Meet In All-Action Co-Main Event

Salita Promotions' Detroit Brawl June 16th at Masonic Temple in Detroit!

(May 9th) The 10-round co-main event has been announced for promoter Dmitriy Salita blockbuster "Detroit Brawl" on Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit and it's sensational.

 

In a fight destined for Motown's history books, undefeated Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (9-0, 4 KOs) will face Detroit via Russia's Alexey Zubov (14-1, 9 KOs) in a ten-round showdown.

 

The guaranteed thriller will serve as the chief supporting bout to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and now Women's NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa "T-Rex" Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, Michigan, taking on Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship in the main event.

 

Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for "Detroit Brawl" are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

 

36-year-old Banks had a terrific 2016, beating 5-1 Emilio Salas in May and then, after a tune-up in July, stepping up to heavyweight to hand Craig Lewis (13-1-1) his first defeat as a professional. A stronger puncher than his four career knockouts would indicate, Banks is an exciting fighter who always finds a way to win, often against bigger men.

 

"I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to fight Zubov," said Banks. "This is an opportunity to show I can rise to every occasion! Alexey is a tough all-business fighter, who is a very necessary component to my advancement and true arrival in the sport. This mission is much bigger than me. I'm just doing what I was born to do... Fight/inspire 'Relentless Determination' is a lifestyle!"

 

30-year-old Zubov, originally from Magnitogorsk, Russia, relocated to Detroit's Kronk Gym in 2016, to train with Javan SugarHill Steward, nephew of the late Emanuel Steward. The former heavily decorated amateur says he's coming in all-new for this important showdown.

 

"I am feeling good. I have had a great camp so far and I will be ready. I am always in great shape and always ready for a fight. I've sparred with him (Banks) a couple times and he's a good fighter. He's very good technically. It'll be a good fight. I am prepared to show a brand-new Alexey for this fight and how much I have improved working with Sugar."

 

Promoter Dmitriy Salita says he's happy to be bringing this sensational fight to his adopted home of Detroit. "A high-level 50/50 fight, where anyone can win. This is the kind of match-up that boxing needs. It truly lives up to what the Detroit Brawl series is all about," said Salita. "The winner will be recognized as one of the best cruiserweight contenders in the world."

 

More fights, opponents and rounds will be announced shortly. On fight night, doors open at 7:00 pm and the fights begin at 8:00 pm.

 

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.

 

About Greektown Casino Hotel

Your downtown playground, Greektown Casino Hotel is consistently voted Detroit's Best Casino. Located right in the hub of the historic Greektown district it's impossible to be any closer to the action. No matter what you want to play, Greektown Casino Hotel has your non-stop gaming action. From the newest slots and table games to live poker, Greektown Casino Hotel has 100,000 square feet of exciting, action-packed choices and so many thrilling ways to win!

 

Greektown Casino Hotel features a 30-story hotel with 400 stunning guestrooms and suites devoted to your comfort. And for your culinary needs, you can savor eclectic cuisine at one of their outstanding restaurants: Prism, Bistro 555 and The Market District.

(May 5th) Promoter Dmitriy Salita is proud to announce he will feature two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and now Women's NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa "T-Rex" Shields of Flint, Michigan, in the main event of his next "Detroit Brawl" on Friday, June 16, 2017.

 

Shields (2-0, 1 KO) will face tough veteran Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship. In her last fight, Rancier went the distance with 16-0 multiple-time world champion, and current WBC Super Middleweight Champion, Nikki Adler of Germany.

 

Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for "Detroit Brawl" are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

 

22-year-old Shields went 77-1 as an amateur and won her first Olympic Gold at the inaugural women's Olympic boxing championships, held in London in 2012. She then successfully defended her title at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

 

Shields turned professional in late 2016 and made history again in her last fight, when she appeared live on SHOWTIME's popular ShoBox: The New Generation on March 10 of this year. By knocking out Hungary's Szilvia Szabados in four impressive rounds, Shields became the first woman to ever headline a boxing event on premium cable.

 

"I'm looking forward to June 16 and my first eight-round fight, as I continue to reach higher on the road to the biggest fights and the continued rise of women's boxing," said Shields. "I can't wait to get back in the ring and give my fans in Detroit and around the world another great night of boxing!"

 

Shields manager, Mark Taffet, echoes his fighter's excitement over another fistic homecoming. "We are very excited to be returning to Detroit on June 16 for the next chapter in Claressa Shields' road to women's boxing history. Claressa will be in great shape as always, and looks to give her fans a night to remember."

 

Promoter Dmitriy Salita, who promoted Shields' history-making battle with Szabados, says he's happy to be featuring the budding superstar on another of his very popular shows in Motown.

 

"Claressa is an American hero from Flint, Michigan," said Salita, "and for people around the world. Like with all her fights, fans attending this event will witness a part of history live on June 16."

 

Another Detroit boxing great is also excited about Shields' future in the sport.

 

"I think Claressa Shields has the ability to be a great fighter," said Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. "She is bringing back the style, excitement and energy that fans around the world want to see!"

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