By Dwjuan Frazier and Lindy Lindell
Photos: Bob Ryder
Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist and new WBC Silver Super Middleweight Champion, Claressa Shields (3-0, 1 KO), was dominant again last night. Shields and her opponent, Sydney LeBlanc (5-1-1), squared off in the main event of the “Detroit Brawl” series (Salita Promotions) at the Detroit Masonic Temple on Friday night. Shields overwhelmed LeBlanc with purposeful jabs and methodical right hands. Everyone was anticipating a Shields knockout, but LeBlanc, who accepted the fight on just three days’ notice, deserves some credit for sticking around for the full eight rounds. Shields won by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight 80-72.
The ten-round co-main event featured cruiserweights Alexey Zubov (15-1, 9 KOs) and Demetrius Banks (9-1, 4 KOs). From the beginning, Zubov was able to use his long reach to land jabs that seemed to surprise and confuse Banks at the same time. Zubov fought a technically sound fight as he never really searched for the knockout. Instead, he played the long game, knowing Banks wouldn’t able to last in the late rounds. Eventually, Banks dropped his arms proving his poor conditioning had got the best of him. Zubov, on the other hand, never showed signs of fatigue as he continued to work his jab until the final bell. Zubov won by unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 99-91.
On the bantamweight card, Ja’Rico O’Quinn (7-0, 5KOs) beat David Martino (2-3, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision (60-54, all three judges). Though O’Quinn can be rightly criticized for not having power in his punch, he makes up for it by being a poised and disciplined fighter. Martino wasn’t able to land any meaningful punches because O’Quinn is fundamentally sound.
In a surprise upset, the largely inactive Antonio Urista (8-2, 2 KOs), pulled an upset with a near lopsided six round unanimous decision win over Sedar Hudayberdiyev (3-1, 2 KOs), billed as Turkmenistan’s Fighter of the Year. The heralded Hudayberdiyev seemed disoriented almost from the outset when he was dropped by a wild, overhead Urista right. Hudayberdiyev never really got into the fight after that and was penalized a point by referee Frank Garza for leading with his head in round five. Both fighters were cut in the corners of their right eyes in the second. For Urista, it was a career best win as he took the initiative from the outset and he outscored Hudayberdiyev in most of their exchanges while the Turkmenistan fighter did a lot of clinching. The judges scored the fight 59-53 and 58-54 twice. FightNews had it 59-55.
Other bouts: Darren Gibbs (1-2, I KO) won by TKO1 in the 30 seconds over his adversary Scott McCurdy who was making his pro debut. Jacob Bonas (3-0-1, 2 KOs) won by TKO3 over Tony Brooks (1-2). Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 5 KOs) won by TKO in the fifth round after sending opponent Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs) to the canvas for a third time. In a welterweight matchup featuring Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) won by TKO1 over Cesar Soriano (27-36-1, 16 KOs). [See image gallery at www.fightnews.com]