Given the number of world-class southpaws he’s been in with at the world-famous Kronk Gym in Detroit, undefeated Motown-based cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (6-0, 4 KOs) says he’s not at all concerned about facing Puerto Rican New Yorker Emilio Salas (5-1-1, 3 KOs).
The pair will meet on Saturday, May 14, at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, in the six-round main event of Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl,” event. In the six-round co-main event Detroit’s undefeated bantamweight James Gordon Smith (9-0, 6 KOs) and Mexico’s Pablo Cupul (8-19, 5 KOs).
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are on sale now and are priced at $28, $38, $63, $93, $100 and $123. They are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, or by visiting the Masonic Temple box office.
“Because my experience, fighting a southpaw is not much of an adjustment,” said Banks during a break in training. “Being at Kronk, I’ve boxed world-class southpaws like (former WBO Middleweight Champion) Andy Lee and (current WBC Light Heavyweight Champion) Adonis Stevenson to name a few. It’s not a big deal for me. I fought so many southpaws, in the beginning of my career, it was more difficult to box a right hander.”
Banks, a former football star and a committed mentor to Detroit’s youth, says that despite it being his first main event, he’s not feeling any extra pressure. “The way I look at it, it’s just another day. I don’t let the situation overwhelm me. I guess after the fight is over I’ll exhale and soak it all in. As of right now I’m ready to go to war. It doesn’t bother me what order we fight in.”
Of opponent Salas, Banks says he’s not expecting any surprises.
“I didn’t’ need to see much of him to know what I’m getting. I probably watched part of a round and he’s what I would expect. I saw things in him I can exploit. I also know he’s on a five-fight win streak. He’s 6′ 3″ tall, out of the Bronx and he’s a southpaw. I guess he’s coming to win, but I can’t let this guy take food off my plate.”
Banks says he’s aware that at age 35, there is no time to waste and he is working hard at Kronk with head coach Javan Hill and assistant trainer Richard Phillips, knowing that this fight is critical if he is to ever rise to contender status.
“This fight presents a big opportunity for me, especially with Dmitriy doing so many big things in boxing. If I win this fight, it gives me the opportunity to sign with him. I feel like I need to hurry. Because of my age, I have a smaller window of opportunity and I understand it. This is an opportunity for me to step it up and get things going.”
So how does he see things going against Salas?
“I definitely see a fight in my mind before it happens. I always visualize them beforehand. I see the things I don’t want to happen, the things that can’t happen and things I want to do. He’s going to come out and try to show he’s tough and come to fight and win. He’s not me though. He’s not fleet-footed or as slick as me. I’ll trick him and touch him to his body. That will give me a lot of target. I will break him down from the body up.
On the Detroit Brawl undercard, Lansing junior middleweight Antonio Urista (7-1, 2 KOs) will face Greenwood, Indiana’s Pablo Sanchez (7-1, 5 KOs) in a four-round bout. In addition, Russian cruiserweight Alexey Zubov (10-1, 6 KOs) will look to bounce back from his first career loss by taking on the capable Ernest Reyna (8-3, 4 KOs) of Corpus Christi, Texas, in a six-rounder. And in four-round welterweight bout between undefeated fighters, Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan’s Serdar Hudayberdiyev (1-0, 1 KO) will face Marco Russell (1-0-1) of Henderson, Nevada.
In a six-round super middleweight scrap, Detroit’s super middleweight James Ballard (6-0, 3 KOs) will face Chicago’s Edgar Perez (6-18, 3 KOs); Detroit middleweight Darrell Van Horn (8-0, 5 KOs) will go against Torreon, Mexico’s Francisco Reza (13-17, 10 KOs) in a four-rounder; East Pointe, Michigan, cruiserweight Clarence Dubose (2-0, 2 KOs) will battle fellow Michigander Karinn Davis (2-6, 2 KOs) of Jackson in a four-round battle; and Brooklyn via Georgia super lightweight Giorgi Gelashvili (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Jackson, Michigan’s Alfred Hall (4-11-2, 2 KOs) in a four-round bout.
On fight night, doors open at 6:30 pm and the first fight is at 7:15 pm. The Masonic Temple is located at 500 Temple Street in Detroit. All bouts subject to change.