Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields (1-0) of Flint, Mich., and bantamweight contender Nikolay Potapov (16-0-1, 8 KOs) of Podolsk, Russia, worked out for the media on Tuesday in advance of their ShoBox: The New Generation televised bouts for Salita Promotions’ “Detroit City Gold” on Friday, March 10, at MGM Grand Detroit, and live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT).
The first women’s boxing main event to be featured on premium television, Shields’ history making fight will be a six-round battle against Hungary’s Szilvia “Sunset” Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) for the Women’s NABF Middleweight Championship.
In the co-featured bout, Potapov, currently training at the Kronk Gym, will challenge Cleveland’s Antonio Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round fight for his NABO Bantamweight Championship.
In the eight-round televised bantamweight opener, Detroit-based bantamweight prospect James Smith (11-0, 6 KOs) will take on Chicago’s Joshua Greer, Jr. (11-1-1, 4 KOs). In the other eight-round televised bout of the exciting quadrupleheader, welterweight Wesley Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) Toledo, Ohio, faces Detroit’s Ed Williams (12-1-1, 4 KOs).
Tickets for “Detroit City Gold” are priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, and are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800.745.3000.
Below is what the fighters had to say:
“I made history in the amateurs, so it’s very special to me to be making history in the pros too and also doing it so close to home in Detroit.
“For this fight, I did more road work and also worked hard on my fundamentals. With my coach, Jason Crutchfield, in my corner he knows my weaknesses and strong points, so we are strengthening all weaknesses.
“I know that Szabados has a lot of body endurance and a ‘no quit’ mindset in the ring. She has a lot more professional experience than me and is a huge step up for me, as it is only my second professional fight.
“With my reputation and name steady rising and me getting a lot of notoriety, I have really just been handling it by taking a few deep breaths and just not allowing myself to get too excited. When I think about March 10, I just wanna jump up and down!
“When I was an amateur, I followed women’s professional boxing the best I could. I thought a lot of women weren’t given equal opportunity. I told myself that for women’s boxing to grow, I’d have to go pro after winning the Olympics again. I felt in my heart that I would be respected and given a chance. I take advantage of every opportunity, so as of now, I feel women’s boxing is a sport that is going to be around for a long time.”
“Nieves is good fighter, and he’s ranked in the top 10. I want to fight the best available in my division. A win over Nieves would be huge for my career and would hopefully lead to a shot at a title in the near future. I can’t lose on March 10.
“I trained hard to go the distance of 10 rounds, but Kronk’s philosophy is not to leave it in the hands of the judges.
“I am thankful to Showtime and Salita Promotions for giving me another opportunity to fight on such a prestigious network. I am focused on bringing home the victory after spending time in Detroit training at the legendary Kronk Gym. ”
ABOUT SHIELDS vs. SZABADOS
Claressa Shields vs. Szilvia Szabados is the professional television debut of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields against former world title challenger Szilvia Szabados. The six-round women’s bout headlines a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast from MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit, Mich., and airs live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
ABOUT MGM GRAND DETROIT
The only Forbes Four-Star hotel in Detroit with the only Forbes Four-Star spa in Michigan, the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning MGM Grand Detroit is the city’s first and only downtown hotel, gaming and entertainment destination built from the ground up. The hotel features 400 chic and stylish guest rooms, including nine rooftop VIP suites and 56 opulent corner suites. Guests enjoy signature restaurants; two by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck as well as the hotel’s own sports pub, TAP at MGM Grand Detroit; casual dining options; lounges; high-energy nightlife; and the only resort-style spa in Southeast Michigan. More than 30,000 square feet of meeting space hosts everything from large corporate events to intimate black-tie affairs. MGM Grand Detroit is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit mgmgranddetroit.com or call toll free at (877) 888-2121
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.