Claressa Shields Knocks Out Szilvia Szabados
Photos: Tom Casino - SHOWTIME
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields shined in
her television debut, knocking out the durable Szilvia
Szabados in the fourth round (1:30) to advance to 2-0 as a
professional in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation
Friday on SHOWTIME at MGM Grand Detroit.
Shields (2-0, 1 KOs) put on a show less than an hour from
her hometown of Flint, Mich., landing nearly 50 percent of
her power shots in the first women’s boxing main event in
premium television history.
Szabados (15-9, 6 KOs), of Hungary, didn’t touch the canvas
but never really stood a shot against an opponent that has
been billed as the future of women’s boxing. Shields came
out blazing in the opening round, backing up Szabados with
crisp, clean punches as she out-landed her opponent 31-4 in
Shields was a bit more patient and settled in the second and
third, but the onslaught continued against a relatively
defenseless Szabados. After a flush right hand, left hook
combo in the fourth, referee Harvey Dock had seen enough and
stepped in to halt the contest with Szabados still on her
“It was about respect,” Shields said of her performance. “I
wanted to go out there and show I had power and I wasn’t
scared of her. I knew she was tough coming in. That’s why I
started going to the body. I was going to get the clean shot
in one round and she was going to go, but the ref stopped it
in the fourth. A knock out is a knockout. It was exciting.
“I’m glad everyone came. I took advantage of this great
opportunity once again. It’s another step toward winning a
Szabados said she was disappointed with Dock’s decision to
stop the fight when he did. “I’m very sad and heartbroken
right now because it only went four rounds and I could have
kept going,” she said. “Her hits were not painful. Her right
hook got me a lot, I know. I could feel that one.”
In the ShoBox co-feature, Nikolay Potapov narrowly edged
Antonio Nieves in a close, 10-round split decision scored
96-94 Potapov twice, 96-94 Nieves.
The technical match between undefeated top-10 bantamweight
prospects was close from the opening bell. Nieves was the
more active fighter, landing 64 punches per round to
Potapov's 50, but the round-by-round breakdowns reveal that
Potapov prevailed in total connects as well as in landed
"I thought it was a close fight, but I came on strong at the
end,” Potapov said. “I had more and finished stronger. That
made the difference. I am much more aggressive now and I sit
down on my shots. That’s the difference training at Kronk
has done for me.
"I knew I won the fight. I wasn’t surprised when I got it. I
wasn’t happy about the judging in my last big fight, but I
thought this time I had done more than enough to win.”
Nieves did impressive work to the body, connecting on 59
total body shots compared to just 14 for Potapov, but it
wasn’t enough to earn him the decision.
"I thought I won. I thought it was a bad decision,” Nieves
said. “I don’t even think it should have been a spilt
decision. I thought I was up clearly. He didn’t really score
like he wanted to. I was making him miss and landing all the
sharper punches. Everything he was hitting me with I was
blocking and coming back.
"I don’t know why close fights don’t go my way. From here I
go back to the drawing board. My whole team and a lot of the
crowd felt like I won. I would love to fight him again.”
In a featured matchup between undefeated welterweights,
Wesley Tucker (14-0, 8 KOs) edged Ed Williams in an
eight-round unanimous decision scored 77-73, 79-71, 78-72
The foul-filled fight featured little action. Toledo’s
Tucker landed 31 percent of his power shots compared to just
19 percent for Detroit’s Williams (12-2-1, 4 KOs), who was
deducted two points for hitting to the back of the head on
separate occasions. Tucker (14-0, 8 KOs) didn’t land a jab
the entire fight, but his heavier shots and accuracy with
his power shots seemed to be more impressive to the judges.
"He was an awkward, long fighter, who knew how to move very
well,” Tucker said. “I’m not disappointed it turned out like
that. Not every fight can be pretty, so I came out with the
win and that’s what matters most.
"I was really frustrated in there, but I’m an action kind of
fighter, so when he was running it kind of was pissing me
off. He was all over the place. He ran the whole fight.”
Williams landed only 17 percent of his total punches.
"He didn't show me anything I didn't expect,” Williams said.
“This week was a great experience for me, but you want to
come out with a win and I wasn’t able to get it done.”
In the televised opener, Joshua Greer Jr. handed
bantamweight prospect James Gordon-Smith his first loss with
a brutal one-punch sixth-round knockout (2:06).
After a blazing first round that saw over 50 power shots
landed, Greer pepped his opponent with a steady diet of
counter rights as Gordon-Smith continued to charge forward
and fight largely off-balance. Chicago’s Greer floored
Gordon-Smith with a perfectly timed right uppercut in the
opening seconds of the fifth and, despite looking dazed,
Gordon-Smith rallied to survive the back-and-forth round.
In the sixth, Greer (12-1-1, 5 KOs) knocked Gordon-Smith out
cold with a huge straight right that sent the Detroit native
falling face forward as referee Harvey Dock immediately
waved off the bout.
“I guess he blinked. That was the problem,” Greer said. “I
told everyone when I got here I didn’t have that pillow for
no reason. I said don’t blink and I wasn’t playing. I knew I
was going to get him. The pillow is just my trademark. It’s
nothing personal. You have to stand out somehow. That’s just
what I do. Nothing personal to him.
“I knew what I came to do. I’m excited but I’m not shocked.
My team knew what would happen and they had confidence in
me. I knew it was only a matter of time.”
Gordon-Smith (11-1, 6 KOs) was the 160th fighter to suffer
his first defeat on the prospect developmental series. And
Nieves would later become the 161st.
Friday’s quadrupleheader will replay on Tuesday, March 14 at
10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME. The telecast will also be
available on SHOWTIME on DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
“Detroit City Gold,” was promoted by Salita Promotions.