Fight News by NYF

THIS IS BIG! Shields and Salita Building Brands in DETROIT


An event unfolding on March 10 in Detroit signals a shift in the sport, maybe two, or more.

Two time gold medalist Claressa Shields will headline a fight card and be featured on a premium cable show.

That’s big.

Repeat, it is a big deal for a sport which has been behind the curve in acceptance and marketing of fighting females of late and done so while watching Ronda Rousey become for a two year span the most notable personage within mixed martial arts.

So, that’s a shift.

Another shift has to do with WHERE Shields, age 21, will do battle, on SHOBOX.

The Michigan resident will box in Detroit, on a card put together with Brooklyn resident Dmitriy Salita. He has been successful, quite successful, in building buzz for his “Detroit Brawl” pro cards. As NY has become more inhospitable to small business, with sky high rents making it exceedingly hard to make a profit, and with the NY commission legislating club shows into oblivion, Salita wisely moved his region of focus. I asked him to comment on the bold initiative, and in looking to build up Shields the old school way, as a hometown attraction.

“Claressa Shields is an exceptional athlete and an American hero! The state of Michigan and Detroit are home to some of the biggest names in our sport, the greatest boxers of our time,” Salita told NYFIGHTS. “It is very meaningful that she is making history in just her second pro fight fighting for same NABF title as Muhammad Ali in one of America’s greatest comeback cities, Detroit, a historic fight town!
Claressa is on her way to the pound for pound list and has all the ability of joining the likes of Joe Louis, Floyd Mayweather and Thomas Hearns, just to name a few of her local predecessors. I am very honored to be involved with this event as a promoter, and also as an American!”

Mark Taffet,  the ex HBO brainiac, manages Shields and knows about as well as any soul on what resonates within a market. “Every great fighter has a home base which creates the buzz that ignites the country. For Claressa, Detroit will be that market. We are very excited to begin the process with the March 10 ShoBox fight at MGM Grand Detroit,” he told  us. “I’m thrilled to be working with Dmitriy Salita. We had a great relationship when he was a fighter and I was at HBO, and I admire and respect him on a personal level. His enthusiasm and integrity, combined with his extensive experience in and knowledge of the Detroit market, make him the ideal promoter for us on March 10.”

Tix are on sale for what I’m pretty sure will be a sellout. Here are deets:

DETROIT (Feb. 10, 2017) – Tickets are now on sale for Salita Promotions’ history-making boxing event “Detroit City Gold” on Friday, March 10, at MGM Grand Detroit, featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Flint, Michigan native Claressa Shields taking on Hungary’s Szilvia “Sunset” Szabados.

Priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, tickets for “Detroit City Gold” are available at, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800.745.3000.

To be presented live on SHOWTIME®, “Detroit City Gold” will mark the first time in history a women’s boxing match has headlined on premium television. Their ShoBox: The New Generation serieshas sparked the careers of 67 future world champions.

The six-round main event between Shields (1-0) and Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs), that will also be for the Women’s NABF Middleweight Championship, tops a quadrupleheader of exciting televised fights.

Shields won her first Olympic Gold when she was 17 years old in the inaugural women’s boxing competition at the London Games in 2012. She defended her title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, becoming the only American boxer to defend amateur sports’ premier championship.

“Detroit City Gold” marks the return of big-time boxing to the Detroit area, something promoter Dmitriy Salita is proud to be part of.

“I started the Detroit Brawl series of shows to get people excited about boxing again and they’ve responded very well,” said Salita. “So now we are bringing a huge event to this great city that was once and will be again a headquarters for boxing. Thank you to all the fans and sponsors and to MGM Grand Detroit for making it possible.”

The 21-year-old Shields cruised to a 77-1 amateur record before turning professional last November, winning her first bout via unanimous decision on a non-televised undercard in Las Vegas. She now returns home as a headliner to take on the veteran Szabados in a six-round middleweight bout.

Szabados challenged for a world title in July 2015 in her ninth professional fight, losing a decision to undefeated WBC Super Middleweight Champion Nikki Adler in Germany. The native of Miskolc, Hungary has faced two former world champions, Mikaela Lauren and Noni Tenge, and has won via knockout in three of her last five victories.

In her U.S. debut, Szabados lost a 10-round decision to then-undefeated prospect Alicia Napoleon on January 29, 2016, in Queens, N.Y. The 26-year-old has remained active since turning professional in 2014. She fought eight fights in 2016, and already has a win in 2017 via fifth round KO over Diana Marcz in January in Budapest, Hungary.



About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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