All eight fighters participating in “Detroit City Gold”, the ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader which includes headliner and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields, made weight on Thursday in advance of Friday’s telecast from MGM Grand Detroit.
Shields (1-0) will face former world title challenger Szilvia Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) in just her second fight since winning gold at the 2016 Olympics and in the first women’s boxing event in premium television history, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
“Detroit City Gold,” which takes place less than an hour from Shields’ hometown of Flint, Mich., is promoted by Salita Promotions. Shields vs. Szabados is a six-round middleweight bout.
In the ShoBox co-feature, top-10 ranked bantamweight contenders Antonio Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs), of Cleveland, and Russia’s Nikolay Potapov (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will put their undefeated records on the line in a 10-round matchup for the NABO bantamweight belt.
In an eight-round televised bout, welterweight Wesley Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, faces Detroit’s Ed Williams (12-1-1, 4 KOs) in a matchup between two former amateur standouts. In the televised opener, Detroit-based bantamweight prospect James Gordon Smith (11-0, 6 KOs) will take on Chicago’s Joshua Greer, Jr. (11-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Claressa Shields: 159 ½ Pounds
Szilvia Szabados: 158 Pounds
Antonio Nieves: 116 ½ Pounds
Nikolay Potapov: 117 ½ Pounds
Wesley Tucker: 147 Pounds
Ed Williams: 146 ¼ Pounds
James Gordon Smith: 116 ¾ Pounds
Joshua Greer, Jr.: 116 ¾ Pounds
“I know about Laila Ali, and Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, and I don’t box like any of them. I have my own unique style. I’ve never seen a female fighter like myself. I want to carry the sport.
“The boxers I like and study are Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Floyd Mayweather. Those are my favorites. And you can even throw Sugar Ray Leonard in there, too.
“I’m going to be aggressive. I’m not going to be nervous and I’m not going to freeze up. I’m going to go right out there and hit her in the face with a right hand.
“This is my hometown fight. I last fought in Michigan three years ago. I’m going to showcase my skills on SHOWTIME.
“I’m embracing all of this. I grew up and heard when I was young that women can’t fight. I’m ready to show everyone just how wrong that is on Friday night.”
“I know Claressa is popular because of the two gold medals, and she’s young and 21. This is her hometown so I know the fans will be cheering for her. Congratulations to her. But I just have to worry about fighting my fight and staying focused.
“I know she’s a come-forward fighter like me. Always go, go, go. I don’t know what she’ll bring. It’ll be a surprise. Everyone always has a plan and I have a plan, as well. But I’m willing to change and improvise.
“I’ve been sparring with men mostly. It’s hard to find girls who can spar with me, especially in Hungary.”
“I’m ready to go. I’m ready to show that night [a draw against Alejandro Santiago] was a fluke. There are no distractions this time.
“I’m ready to show people that I’m a contender at this weight. I’m here to prove that I deserve to fight for a world title.”
“I’ve improved a lot working with Javan [Javan SugarHill Steward]. The sky’s the limit for me and I know I can be a legitimate contender in my division.
“There are going to be a lot of eyes on this fight so it’s important that I look good and get the victory. We’re both undefeated, and we’re both ranked, so there is a lot on the line in this fight.”
“I’m going to be the next world champion from Toledo. I’m a lefty and have power in both hands and I’m a pressure fighter.
“My right hook is my best punch and that’s rare for a lefty.
“I live 45 miles from here and I come here a lot so, yeah, it’s like a home fight for me.
“I know Ed Williams. He’s a nice little boxer, long and rangy. That’s about it.
“I’m going for the knockout and it may come early, or it may not. No matter what, I always put on a good show.”
“This is one of the fights that will determine whether I continue and move up, or I do something different. This is it. That’s what ShoBox has always been about for fighters like me.
“I took a break from boxing and got my college degree in industrial engineering. But I got the bug and came back. Things would have been much different if I would have stayed with it. I’m not doing anything with my degree yet, but will once I’m finished with boxing.
“I’m older but I don’t have many miles. I’m well-preserved. It’s going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to an exciting fight.”
JAMES GORDON SMITH:
“I’ve never lost to anyone from Chicago, and Friday night will be no different.
“I’ve been around boxing forever and all the talking doesn’t bother me. I would expect nothing else. He’s coming into my backyard and should be confident. He’s coming in with an eight-fight winning streak. It don’t bother me. It just gives me the extra motivation to make sure no one comes into my backyard and beats me.”
JOSHUA GREER, JR.:
“It’s not my first undefeated fighter I’ve fought so it’s no big deal. I know what I have to do.
Sure, we were going at it pretty good at the press conference. You can say it’s a Chicago-Detroit thing. Of course there’s a rivalry there.
“I’m fast, but people underestimate my power. My power is a bigger strength than my speed. It’s something not a lot of people expect of me.
“You will see fireworks from round one.”