Tag Archives: Dmitriy Salita

Rising Star Elena Gradinar to Face Olivia Gerula for IBF Intercontinental Championship in Narva, Estonia, on March 24

Rising female star, Elena Gradinar of Saint Petersburg, Russia, will compete for the first championship belt of her professional career when she takes on former world champion Olivia “The Predator” Gerula for the IBF Intercontinental Featherweight Championship.
The 10-round Gradinar vs. Gerula battle will take place on Saturday, March 24, at the Energia Sport Hall in Narva, Estonia.
The undefeated 27-year-old Gradinar (8-0, 2 KOs) went 73-8 as an amateur, winning numerous national and international amateur tournaments. Gradinar has also attained the designation of Sport Master of Russia.
A well-respected and accomplished professional, Gerula, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the former WBC World Female Super Featherweight Champion and made two successful defenses. She has also held the well-respected WIBA World Championship.
“I am very glad to fight for IBF Intercontinental belt against former WBC World Champion Olivia Gerula,” said Gradinar. “We will bring for boxing fans a dramatic and exiting clash between us. I am very proud that I will represent my country Russia and I hope that IBF Intercontinental belt will find residence in the glorious Russian city of St. Petersburg!”
“I am very excited about what’s to come. I look forward to visiting Estonia and soaking up some of its culture while proudly representing Canada,” said Olivia Gerula. “I know Elena has an impressive amateur record and an undefeated professional record, but I don’t believe she has ever been in the ring with a fighter of my quality and experience, so I expect to shake things up.”
Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita, along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group, says the Gerula fight will prove a lot about Gradinar’s transition to the professional ranks.
“This will be the toughest test of Elena’s young career,” said Salita. “Olivia Gerula has fought and beaten many top-level female fighters in the division. I am looking forward to a great fight and, with a victory, the continued development of our future world champion.”

Salita Promotions Adds to World-Class Women’s Boxing Roster, Signs Top Female Prospect Franchon Crews-Dezurn to a Promotional Contract

Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions proudly announces the signing of Baltimore-based female super middleweight prospect and former amateur world standout Franchon Crews-Dezurn to a promotional contract.
Crews-Dezurn joins a Salita Promotions women’s boxing roster that includes superstar Claressa Shields, European star Christina Hammer, and Russian future champion Elena Savelyeva.

30-year-old Crews-Dezurn, 2-1, 1 KO as a professional, is a former highly decorated, elite amateur boxer. Among her many championships, she was an eight-time US Open National Champion, a four-time National Female Golden Gloves Champion, a four-time Pan Am Continental Champion, a two-time National PAL Champion, and a two-time US Olympic Team Alternate.

She also represented Team USA in numerous international competitions, and in 2011, Crews-Dezurn made history by becoming the first of three women in the United States to qualify and compete in the debut of women’s boxing at the Pan American Games.

Since stepping up on short notice and losing a decision in an exciting fight to women’s superstar and former amateur rival Claressa Shields in her pro debut in November 2016, Crews-Dezurn spent 2017 beating Louisiana-based contenders Latashia Burton (TKO 1) in March and Sydney LeBlanc (UD 4) in August.

She will make her debut fighting under the Salita Promotions banner against North Carolina’s Tiffany Woodard on Friday, January 12, on the untelevised undercard of WBC/IBF World Champion Claressa Shields’ 168-pound title defense versus mandatory challenger Tori Nelson, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to have such a great platform for me and for women’s boxing,” said Crews-Dezurn. “There’s a lot of excitement in the Super Middleweight and Middleweight divisions and I can’t wait to be right in the thick of it.”

Crews-Dezurn says she’ll be looking to rise in the rankings on her way to high-profile showdowns, including a possible rematch with Shields.
“I love what Dmitriy has done with Claressa and he just signed Christina Hammer. I’m a fighter. I’d like to fight a few six- and eight-rounders, build myself up inside and outside the ring through hard work. There are some great fights out there. I’m excited. There’s Claressa, Hammer, Cornejo, Nikki Adler, Tori Nelson. I want to fight for a world title before the end of the year, but my competitive side says let’s do it right now.”
Crews-Dezurn trains at the Headbangers Boxing Gym in Washington, DC, under well-regarded trainer Barry Hunter, as well as Patrice “Boogie” Harris, Jamie Harris and her husband Glenn Dezurn Jr.

“I’ve been training there for the last three years. The whole team is amazing. You’re in there with world champs and title contenders. The level of intensity is always very high. And it’s a family atmosphere I love it there.”

“Women’s boxing is suddenly flooded with great talent and Franchon, as a pioneering woman of the modern boxing age, deserves to be part of that group,” said Dmitriy Salita. “I’m happy to have reached an agreement with her. With her tremendous skill and marketable personality, Franchon has the potential to become another women’s superstar in a golden age for the sport.”

Also featured on the January 12 telecast, Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.

 
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Salita Promotions Congratulates Shields On 2017 Year-End Awards

Promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions wishes to congratulate his fighter, female superstar, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and WBC and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion, Claressa “T Rex” Shields, for her impressive list of victories in the 2017 year-end awards.
 
In just her first full year as a professional, Flint, Michigan’s Shields was named USA Today: Female Fighter of the Year, Yahoo Sports: Female Fighter of the Year, WBAN: Hottest Rising Star and WBAN: Most Inspirational, as well as The Sweet Science’s Prospect of the Year.
 
Shields is also nominated for the BWAA’s Christy Martin Women’s Fighter Of The Year and Bill Crawford Award for Courage in Overcoming Adversity Awards, which will be presented in February.
 
After turning professional in November 2016, Shields appeared three times in 2017, making boxing history on SHOWTIME by becoming the first female to headline a boxing event on premium television. In August, Shields won the WBC and vacant IBF Super Middleweight Championships from previously unbeaten and highly regarded champion Nikki Adler in dominant fashion. And in March, also on SHOWTIME, she stopped Hungary’s Szilvia Szabados in four rounds.
 
Shields also won the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title in only her third professional fight by scoring a unanimous shutout decision over Louisiana’s rugged Sydney LeBlanc in front of her adoring fans in Michigan in June.
 
“2017 was a very fulfilling year for me,” said Shields. “Turning pro and winning my first two world titles were big thrills. But I’m most pleased about being the first woman to headline a main event on television and having two of my fights live on SHOWTIME, as it is my goal to lead women’s boxing to new heights.”
 
Promoter Salita says the sky is the limit for 22-year-old Shields, as her fame continues to pick up momentum with every passing fight.
 
“Claressa is a phenomenon in boxing; a superstar fighter resurrecting the entire sport of female boxing with her amazing talent,” said Salita. “These awards are well-deserved and only the first of many, as she makes history throughout what will be her legendary career. I am proud to be working with this incredible young woman and give her my sincerest congratulations.”
 
Shields will next be seen Friday, January 12, as she defends her 168-pound titles on ShoBox: The New Generation against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
 
“I can’t wait to continue the journey in 2018, beginning with my January 12 fight against Tori Nelson on SHOWTIME,” continued Shields.  “I look forward to a unification fight with Christina Hammer in the summer. I thank God, my fans, the media, Salita Promotions, and my team for all the support.”
 
Also featured on the January 12 telecast, Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.
 
Highlights of the United States fighting debut of current WBC and WBO Middleweight Women’s Champion, and future Shields opponent, Christina “Lady Hammer” Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) will also be shown.
 
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.

 Salita Promotions Signs Women’s Superstar Christina Hammer to Multi-Fight Promotional Contract

Promoter Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated women’s unified world middleweight champion Christina Hammer to a multi-fight promotional contract.
Already a superstar in Europe, “Lady Hammer” (22-0, 10 KOs), from Dortmund, Germany, (via Novodolinka, Kazakhstan) is the current WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion. She has also previously held the WBF Middleweight, as well as WBO and WBF Super Middleweight Championships.
Under Salita’s promotional direction, Hammer will make her United States boxing debut on Friday, January 12, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, on the non-televised undercard of a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT), featuring unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields’ WBC and IBF title defense against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson. Hammer is scheduled for a 10-round fight, highlights of which will be shown on SHOWTIME.
“I never had any doubt that my manager Harald Pia and I would reach an agreement,” said a happy Hammer of the signing. “I love the U.S.,” she continued. “If you are successful here, you will be successful everywhere. Since the beginning of my boxing career it has been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.. I can’t wait for January 12.”
Hammer joins the Salita Promotions roster that also includes women’s superstar, unified super middleweight champion and two-time gold medalist Claressa Shields, as well as world, European (2X) and Russian (6X) amateur champion and 2012 Olympian, Elena Savelyeva.
“Christina has all the tools to become a star in the U.S.,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Her skills, personality and appeal outside the ring make Christina a unique and special fighter in the talent-filled middleweight division. I believe 2018 is going to be a historic year for women’s boxing all over the world.”
Hammer is a technically outstanding boxer, but her outstanding physical strength is what separates her from the rest of the world’s 160-pound fighters. She was voted WBF Female Fighter of the Year in 2011 and 2013; the WBO Female Fighter of the Year in 2013; the BDB Female Boxer of the Year in 2016; the HERQUL Female Boxer of the Year in 2017 and is the only woman in Europe to earn the Diamond Ring of the WBO.
“It is always a pleasure to work with highly professional partners,” said manager Pia of the deal. “I’m confident we have a contract that is good for all parties. Christina is very happy to be fighting in the U.S. It is a dream of hers to be successful over here and she can’t wait to show the U.S. public who Christina Hammer is!”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.
In the telecast opener Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.

 Salita Signs Co-Promotional Deal with Russian Heavyweight KO Artist Apti Davtaev

Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions proudly announces the signing of Russian heavyweight prospect Apti Davtaev (13-0-1, 13 KOs) to a co-promotional agreement, in association with KA promotions and Kazbek Aslambekov.
Already the promoter of top heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller, Salita says that the 6′ 5″ KO artist Davtaev has strong potential to also rise to the top of the big man’s division.
“The heavyweights are once again infused with lots of talent, and Aptis’ punching power and size will make him a real threat to the best in the division,” said Salita. “I am very happy to team up with and work together with KA promotions and Kazbek Aslambekov in progressing Apti to the heavyweight world title.”
The heavy-handed 28-year-old Davtaev hails from Kurchaloi, Russia, and is trained by Hampasha Magomedov in the city of Grozny in the Ahmat Boxing Club. A relentless pressure fighter, he won the WBC Slovenian title in just his tenth pro fight.
The goal, he says is to fight in North America and enter the world stage.
“My goal is to become the heavyweight champion of the world,” said Davtaev. “I am very confident that I will accomplish this goal with Salita Promotions and Kazbek Aslambekov. Professional boxing is on a high level, especially in my weight class, in the USA, so that is where I want to be.”
“I am very happy about our working relationship with Salita Promotions,” said Aslambekov. “It’s a company that is shown great results and fast growth in the boxing world.  I am very impressed with the work that they have done for their various fighters the proper tools and strategic guidance quickly elevates the boxers they work with.”
Salita says his newest heavyweight will be getting the preparations necessary to become a star in boxing.
“We will bring Apti to our training base in the US, where he will get world-class training
and continue his development as a fighter,” continued Salita. “I am proud to be working with him and his team.”

Davtaev is scheduled to fight November 20, in a 10-round fight in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and then will be travelling to the US to continue his training for his first fight in North America.

Undefeated Junior Welterweight KO Artist Shoh Ergashev Added to Jacobs vs. Arias Undercard

 

The one to watch, 25-year-old knockout sensation Shohjahon “Descendant of Tamerlane” Ergashev has been added to the untelevised undercard of the Saturday, November 11, Danny Jacobs vs. Luis Arias and Jarrell Miller vs. Mariusz Wach boxing event at NYCB LIVE: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Jacobs vs. Arias and Miller vs. Wach are presented by Matchroom Boxing USA, in association with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, Salita Promotions and Roc Nation Sports. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, NYCBLIVE.com, by calling 800-745-3000 or at the Ticketmaster Box Office at the Coliseum.
Considered one of the best current prospects coming out of Central Asia, the popular Ergashev (9-0, 9 KOs) is a former four-time national champion in his home country. As a professional, the dangerous southpaw has won his last five fights in the first round.
“I came to the US to show that I am the best fighter in the world,” said Ergashev. “I look for the knockout in every fight and November 11 is no different. It’s my biggest stage and I will put on a show!”
To prepare for his six-round showdown, Ergashev is training at Kronk Gym in Detroit with well-known Javan SugarHill Steward, who says he is looking fearsome in sparring.
“He’s a big puncher, with good athleticism and great potential,” said Steward. “I look forward to working with him and seeing him develop in the talent-rich junior welterweight division.”
Promoter Dmitriy Salita says although Ergashev is a new name in the United States, he is already well-known in his Uzbek community.
“Shoh has the power, skills and charisma to be a star in boxing,” said Salita. “He has a very loyal fan base as well. Although it’s his first fight in the US, he will have hundreds of people from his community in New York City and from around the country, and even from Russia, coming to support him on November 11.”
In his last appearance, in June at the Floyd Mayweather Boxing Academy in Zhukovka, Russia, Ergashev needed less than a minute to knock opponent Sunatollo Rakhmatulloev down twice and stop him at 0:50 of the first round.

In other action that night, undefeated New York City police officer Dimash “Lightning” Niyazov (12-0, 5 KOs) born in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, now residing in Staten Island, NY, will also fight in a six-round lightweight bout on the non-televised portion of the undercard.

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BROOKLYN BOXING on Long Island is an extension of SE’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ brand. For more information, visit brooklynboxingshop.com.
Tickets for the live event, on sale now, can be purchased at ticketmaster.com,NYCBLIVE.com or by calling 800-745-3000.   Tickets can also be purchased at the Ticketmaster Box Office at the Coliseum.

Salita Promotions Signs Elite Russian Female Elena Gradinar to Co-Promotional Contract

The female fighting stable of promoter Dmitriy Salita has grown again, as Salita proudly announces the signing of Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar to a co-promotional contract (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group).
The undefeated 27-year-old Gradinar (6-0, 1 KO) as a professional boxer, went 73-8 as an amateur, winning numerous national and international amateur tournaments.
A resident of Saint Petersburg, Russia, Gradinar has attained the designation of Sport Master of Russia. As an amateur, she notched victories over current World Amateur Bantamweight Champion Dina Zheloman of Kazakhstan, current European and Russian Amateur Super Lightweight Champion Alexandra Ordina, current Russian Featherweight Champion and Bronze medalist of Europe, Natalia Samokhina, as well as two victories over former Russian Featherweight Champion Ekaterina Sycheva.
Trained and managed by well-known Russian boxing figure Igor Shafer, Gradinar says she hopes the co-promotional deal with Salita will improve her visibility in North America, leading to greater opportunities.
“I am very proud to sign with a Russian/American promoter, Dmitriy Salita, who is doing great work with Claressa Shields and becoming one of the main North American promoters of female boxers,” said Gradinar. “I look forward to fighting in the United States against the best they have to offer and becoming a world champion.”
“Elena is a talented boxer that will add international flavor to the outstanding female bantamweight division which includes outstanding boxers like Heather Hardy, Cindy Serrano, Jelena Mrdjenovich and others,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Russia has many male world champions and Elena will follow in their footsteps.”\

Elena Gradinar will fight for the first time under her new co-promotional banner in a 10-rounder against Maria Jose Nunez in Narva, Estonia, on October 21.

Salita Signs Super Bantamweight Powerhouse Jesse Angel Hernandez to a Promotional Contract

Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions proudly announces the signing of super bantamweight prospect Jesse Angel Hernandez to an exclusive promotional contract.
A 26-year-old southpaw from Fort Worth, Texas, Hernandez (9-1, 7 KOs) first came to Salita’s attention last August 4, at a Salita Promotions event at the MGM Grand Detroit, and live on ShoBox: The New Generation, where he sored an impressive TKO 5 over Russia’s formerly undefeated Vladimir Tikhonov (16-0). Tikhonov, a Salita fighter, was overwhelmed by the strength, heavy hands and fearsome body attack of Hernandez.
It was a display of offensive firepower that promoters look for in a prospect.
Hernandez compiled a 68-6 record as an amateur before turning pro in 2009. Hampered by inactivity for five years, due to managerial issues and a shortage of local gyms, he has rededicated his career since returning in 2014.
Hernandez comes from a boxing family and is one of 16 brothers and sisters. Nine of the boys were boxers and six turned professional, including Jose “El Loco” Hernandez, who scored a draw against former world champion Mickey Bey, and Rodrigo Hernandez, who fought to the only draw with Leo Santa Cruz.
“It’s like a blessing to sign with Salita,” said Hernandez. “I feel like we are very good fit. A company with great potential to make hardworking fighters into championship level athletes. I plan on making a name for myself and eventually win a world title.”
A true force in the ring, Hernandez says as he progresses to bigger fights, his relentless style will become even more effective.
“I was made for 12 rounds or more. I have an advantage that will help me reach my plan of dominating the 122-lb. division and eventually move up and hopefully do the same at higher divisions. I would like to fight anybody who holds a title once I get my opportunity. I want to fight whoever is the best when I get to that level. I fear no one. If you have ranking points or a title, I hope to see you in my future.”
“Jesse has an exciting, aggressive TV-friendly style,” said Dmitriy Salita. “I am confident that with more fights and exposure he will be on his way to being a big name in the super bantamweight division.”

Salita Signs Russia’s Heavily Decorated Former Amateur World Champion Elena Savelyeva to a Co-Promotional Contract

Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions is proud to announce the signing of one of the most decorated female amateur boxers in the world, Russia’s Elena Savelyeva, to a co-promotional contract, along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group.
Savelyeva, now 1-0 as a professional boxer, went 134-15-1 as an amateur, winning the world, European (2X) and Russian (6X) championships during her illustrious career. She represented her homeland in the 2012 Summer Olympics and competed in the first-ever women’s Olympic boxing match in history.
Turning her sights on professional boxing, she is now looking to win a world title in the pros and looking to settle the score with her amateur arch rival Nicole Adams.
“My goal is to become a world champion in all the major sanctioning bodies and be recognized as one of the best boxers in the world,” said Savelyeva. “Signing with Salita Promotions will progress my career and open doors for me to help me reach my goals. I look forward to fighting the best in the world and reaching the highest levels of pro boxing soon.”
Salita, who already promotes women’s superstar Claressa Shields, says his latest signing will add spice to an already heating-up world of women’s boxing.
“Elena is one of the most accomplished female boxers in the world,” said Salita. “And with her numerous international, national and world titles, she will add flavor and excitement to the growing sport of woman’s professional boxing. Russia has some of the best boxers in the world and now there is a very skilled lady boxer joining that elite group.”

Salita’s co-promoter, Alexander Nevskiy, says the deal with Salita will give Savelyeva greater reach and strengthen her possibilities. “This is a great initiative to do a joint boxing business with a growing US promotional company, said Nevskiy. “This partnership is very important for us to develop and advance both our male and female boxers from the FSU territories in the US and Global market.”

Savelyeva’s next fight is scheduled for September 23 in Borisov, Belarus. It will be an eight-rounder against fellow Russian Eugenia Zablotskaya.

Claressa Shields Dominates to Win WBC Silver Belt, Sets Detroit Brawl Gate Record; Has Sights on World Championship Next

Photos by Boy Ryder

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.
 
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.”
 
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For more information on the “Detroit Brawl” or Salita Promotions, visit www.salitapromotions.com. Facebook and Twitter: @DetroitBrawl