Popular, undefeated Detroit bantamweight Ja’Rico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn will continue his climb up the professional boxing ladder in his first eight-round fight, on Friday, June 22, at Detroit’s Masonic Temple.
O’Quinn (8-0-1, 5 KOs) will make his next ring appearance (against an opponent TBA as of now) on the non-televised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.
The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Masonic Temple Box Office at (313) 832-7100. VIP tickets are priced at $300, ringside tickets at $125, and remaining tickets at $75, $50 and $35.
The 23-year-old O’Quinn says he’s eager to get in the ring at this historic event.
“I’m excited because this will be my first eight-rounder. I feel good that I’m getting closer to 10- and 12-round fights and a world title shot. I know it will happen, but I have to work my way up to the big fights and get noticed more first. Training is going well. I was already working out before I found out I was fighting. I was already in good shape, so now we’re stepping it up and getting in serious shape.”
O’Quinn, from the West Side of Detroit in the Plymouth And Greenfield area, enjoys intense popularity among Motown boxing fans, which gives him extra motivation to impress.
“It’s a great feeling hearing my name being chanted by hundreds of people when I come out. It’s what I love and I appreciate that my fans stand behind what I’m doing. I have a great team behind me and great fans.”
A decorated former amateur boxer, O’Quinn won the USA National Championship at bantamweight and the 2013 USA Boxing Youth National Championships. He says it’s that amateur pedigree that gives him his high “boxing IQ” in the ring and makes him so adaptable to any style.
“I have such great management and promoters, I know whoever I fight will be the best for my career, so it doesn’t really matter. Everybody knows I’m always in shape an I’ll be in even greater shape this time. It’s a big show, so I’m doing more of everything to get ready.”
“Ja’Rico O’Quinn is one of the best Bantamweight prospects in the country,” said his promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “His speed, skills and exciting style make his fights very entertaining. His fan base grows with each fight and I believe that Ja’Rico has the skills to join the list of fighters that brought glory to the great boxing city of Detroit.”
Claressa Shields and Mary J Blige Appear as Superheroes in Commercial
WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion, and two-time US Olympic gold-medal winner, Claressa Shields, appeared with music legend and fellow female superstar Mary J. Blige in a special 60-second short film that aired during Sunday’s worldwide broadcast of the 90th Academy Awards.
Directed by Dee Rees and sponsored by Walmart, the film was inspired by Walmart delivery boxes and featured Shields and Blige as superheroes.
A world-famous singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress, Blige is a nine-time Grammy Award winner, a three-time Golden Globe nominee and the first woman to receive multiple Academy Award nominations in the same year (for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song). She has sold 75 million records worldwide.
In addition to being the current unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion, Flint, Michigan’s Shields won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, becoming the first American boxer-female or male-to win consecutive medals. In just her first full year as a professional, 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.
Shields (5-0, 2 KOs) is currently hard at work, preparing for her next fight in April on SHOWTIME.