Claressa Shields vs. Szilvia Szabados
Final Press Conference
Photos: Tom Casino - SHOWTIME
All eight fighters participating
in “Detroit City Gold”, the ShoBox: The New Generation
headlined by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa
Shields, participated in a final press conference on
Wednesday in advance of Friday’s four-fight 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
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
Here’s what the fighters had to say on Wednesday:
“I started boxing at age 11 and all I really wanted was an
opportunity. This is one of those big opportunities.
“Her having 124 professional rounds doesn’t mean anything to
me. Her being 15-8 with 6 KOs doesn’t scare me either. But I
am glad she took the fight and didn’t pull out.
“She’s a challenge and, on paper, she’s not supposed to be
someone that I can just walk through. But I’ve been in
training camp for three months and I had a great training
I’m not going to let her beat me in front of my family. I’m
not going to let her beat me in front of my nephews and
cousins and my mom and dad. I just don’t roll like that.
“If she doesn’t have the talent and skill to go six rounds
with me, she will not go six rounds. So, I hope she had a
very good training camp. I know I did.
“This is the first time that a woman has been the main event
on SHOWTIME and I’m not coming to make women look bad when I
get in there on March 10.”
“I’m ready to fight. I’ve been waiting a long time for this
fight. I feel good and I’m in great shape.
“I think everyone has a destiny in life and I’m glad I chose
to be a boxer. This is a huge opportunity for me and I plan
to take advantage of it.
“I know she has the amateur experience, but I have more
experience as a pro. We’ll see what’s more important on
“I trained and did everything I have to do. I’m ready for
“Coming out of Cleveland, nobody gives us a chance. We have
to fight for everything we get.
“I respect Potapov. He’s a good fighter. He said he’s going
to take my belt? He’s going to have to take it from me. I’m
here to fight. I’m not going to just give it up. Come try
and take it.
“When I get in there Friday, it’s all business. I respect
him – I don’t have any problems with him as a person.
“I’ve fought a lot of Russians and Europeans. They’re
straight-up, come forward, and try to put on a lot of
pressure. They bring the fight and I’m ready for that. I’m
ready for anything he brings to the table.
“Anything can happen in a fight, but I’m focused and ready
and I know what I have to do. I’ll be able to adjust to
whatever he brings.”
“I will be a much more aggressive version of myself for this
fight. I trained to be very aggressive. I have a lot of
surprises in store for Antonio Nieves.
“I learned a lot training at Kronk and I’m very ready. I had
a great training camp and I really enjoyed living here in
“In Russia, there is a traditional Russian style. Over here,
it’s totally different. The American style is much more
aggressive. I loved training with Javan SugarHill Steward at
Kronk and learned a lot.”
“I come to fight every time and everybody knows when I
fight, it’s fireworks.
“He may be from here, but Detroit is my home, too. And I’m
planning on winning here at home.”
“I’m glad to be home. I had a great camp and it’s going to
be a hell of a fight.
“Wesley Tucker is coming to fight, but I’m home. You don’t
let nobody take you at home. That’s it.
“He may be in for a short night. Or a long one. We’ll see.”
James Gordon Smith:
“I’m knocking you out. I’m not here to play games. I’m
coming straight for you. I bet you I knock you out.
“You can’t punch. What are you going to do?
“I’m coming to throw bombs, so I hope you trained for this
because I’m going to knock that smile off your face. Your
coach can’t fight for you.”
Joshua Greer, Jr.:
“I’m ready. You’re getting knocked out. We didn’t come here
“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for. We’re ready. Come
Friday, I hope he’s ready, too.”