With a potential world title shot on the near horizon for the winner, undefeated bantamweight contenders Antonio Nieves and Nikolay Potapov both agree their NABO Bantamweight Championship showdown this Friday is the most important of both their careers.
Defending champion Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) of Cleveland and Russia’s Potapov (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will meet in the co-main event this Friday, March 10, of Salita Promotions’ history-making quadrupleheader of fights entitled “Detroit City Gold” at MGM Grand Detroit on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT).
In the night’s main event, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields (1-0) of Flint, Mich., will face Hungary’s Szilvia “Sunset” Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) in a six-round battle for the Women’s NABF Middleweight Championship. Their fight will be the first women’s boxing main event to be featured on premium television in history.
In the eight-round televised bantamweight opener, Detroit-based bantamweight prospect James Smith (11-0, 6 KOs) will take on Chicago’s Joshua Greer, Jr. (11-1-1, 4 KOs). In the other eight-round televised bout of the exciting quadrupleheader, welterweight Wesley Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) Toledo, Ohio, faces Detroit’s Ed Williams (12-1-1, 4 KOs).
Tickets for “Detroit City Gold” are priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, and are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800.745.3000.
Here’s what they both had to say:
“Everything went well in training. Potapov is a solid fighter but I believe giving him some movement and coming in from the side is really going to help me get the victory in this fight. I’m 100 percent ready. I’ve been focused on one guy the entire camp and I’m ready to get in there and get the win.
“We tried to get sparring partners that imitate him as much as possible, so when I get in there with him, there’s no surprises, but basically, I’m just going to stick to what I know.
“A victory means a lot. We’re two undefeated fighters on the verge of a world title shot. A victory over this guy would put me to the stage of being in line to fight for a world title, so this win means a lot.”
“I had a great training camp in Detroit at Kronk gym with Javan SugarHill Steward. It’s been a great learning experience for me. The training, intensity, sparring, living conditions have been superb.
“This is the most important fight of my career. Antonio Nieves is a very skilled, high-level fighter. I am focused on making a statement on March 10, and showing that I am one of the best bantamweights in the world.”
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ABOUT SHIELDS vs. SZABADOS
Claressa Shields vs. Szilvia Szabados is the professional television debut of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields against former world title challenger Szilvia Szabados. The six-round women’s bout headlines a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast from MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit, Mich., and airs live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
ABOUT MGM GRAND DETROIT
The only Forbes Four-Star hotel in Detroit with the only Forbes Four-Star spa in Michigan, the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning MGM Grand Detroit is the city’s first and only downtown hotel, gaming and entertainment destination built from the ground up. The hotel features 400 chic and stylish guest rooms, including nine rooftop VIP suites and 56 opulent corner suites. Guests enjoy signature restaurants; two by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck as well as the hotel’s own sports pub, TAP at MGM Grand Detroit; casual dining options; lounges; high-energy nightlife; and the only resort-style spa in Southeast Michigan. More than 30,000 square feet of meeting space hosts everything from large corporate events to intimate black-tie affairs. MGM Grand Detroit is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit mgmgranddetroit.com or call toll free at (877) 888-2121