PREVIEW OF NIEVES VS. POTAPOV
Press Release: With a potential world title shot on the horizon for the winner, undefeated bantamweights Antonio Nieves and Nikolay Potapov both agree this Friday's ShoBox match-up is the most important of both their careers. Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio and Russia's Potapov (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will meet in Salita Promotions' quadrupleheader of fights entitled "Detroit City Gold" at MGM Grand Detroit. In the 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 women's middleweight battle. It 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 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, 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 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 Sugar Hill 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 10th, and showing that I am one of the best bantamweights in the world."