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March 09, 2017


Press Release: All eight fighters participating in Friday's ShoBox broadcast from the MGM Detroit, including two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields, participated in a final press conference on Wednesday. Shields (1-0) will face former Szilvia Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) in the first womenís boxing main event ever on premium television (Showtime). The six-round middleweight bout takes place less than an hour from Shieldsí hometown of Flint, Mich. 

In the ShoBox co-feature, bantamweight contenders Antonio Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) of Cleveland and Russiaís Nikolay Potapov (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will put their undefeated records on the line in a ten-round match-up.

In an eight-round televised bout, welterweight Wesley Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, faces Detroitís 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 Chicagoís Joshua Greer, Jr. (11-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

Hereís what the fighters had to say on Wednesday:

Claressa Shields:

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 doesnít mean anything to me.  Her being 15-8 with 6 KOs doesnít scare me either.  But I am glad she took the fight and didnít pull out.

Sheís a challenge and, on paper, sheís not supposed to be someone that I can just walk through.  But Iíve been in training camp for three months and I had a great training camp.

Iím not going to let her beat me in front of my family. Iím not going to let her beat me in front of my nephews and cousins and my mom and dad. I just donít roll like that.

If she doesnít 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 Iím not coming to make women look bad when I get in there on March 10th.Ē

Szilvia Szabados:

Iím ready to fight.  Iíve been waiting a long time for this fight.  I feel good and Iím in great shape. I think everyone has a destiny in life and Iím 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.  Weíll see whatís more important on Friday.

Antonio Nieves:

I trained and did everything I have to do.  Iím ready for war. Coming out of Cleveland, nobody gives us a chance. We have to fight for everything we get.

I respect Potapov.   Heís a good fighter.  When I get in there Friday, itís all business.  I respect him Ė I donít have any problems with him as a person.

Iíve fought a lot of Russians and Europeans.  Theyíre straight-up, come forward, and try to put on a lot of pressure.  They bring the fight and Iím ready for that.  Iím ready for anything he brings to the table.

Anything can happen in a fight, but Iím focused and ready and I know what I have to do.  Iíll be able to adjust to whatever he brings.Ē

Nikolay Potapov:

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 Iím very ready.  I had a great training camp and I really enjoyed living here in Detroit.

In Russia, there is a traditional Russian style.  Over here, itís totally different.  The American style is much more aggressive.  I loved training with Javan SugarHill Steward at Kronk and learned a lot.Ē

Wesley Tucker:

I come to fight every time and everybody knows when I fight, itís fireworks.  He may be from here, but Detroit is my home, too.  And Iím planning on winning here at home.Ē

Ed Williams:

Iím glad to be home.  I had a great camp and itís going to be a hell of a fight.   Wesley Tucker is coming to fight, but Iím home.  You donít let nobody take you at home. Thatís it.

He may be in for a short night.  Or a long one.  Weíll see.

James Gordon Smith:

Iím knocking you out.  Iím not here to play games.  Iím coming straight for you.  I bet you I knock you out.

You canít punch.  What are you going to do?  Iím coming to throw bombs, so I hope you trained for this because Iím going to knock that smile off your face.  Your coach canít fight for you.Ē

Joshua Greer, Jr.:

Iím ready.  Youíre getting knocked out.  We didnít come here to lose. This is a fight Iíve been waiting for.  Weíre ready.  Come Friday, I hope heís ready, too.

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