Promoter Dmitriy Salita couldn’t be happier about putting on what’s being called the best boxing show in Detroit in many years, last Saturday, at the Masonic Temple.
Salita’s second instalment of his “Detroit Brawl” series featured wall-to-wall action and a “Fight of the Year” candidate in the semi-final. With an old-school feel and a big fight-loving crowd, the Detroit Brawl series just became a cornerstone of the Motown fight game.
“This event surpassed all my expectations,” said Salita. “My matchmaker Dennis Turner, did his job well and every fight delivered great action to the fans. Especially James Gordon Smith against Pablo Cupul. Those two bantamweights waged six rounds of all-out war. It was an amazing, back-and-forth fight.”
Although the final tally read 60-53 for Smith from all three judges, the scores don’t relay the heart-stopping thrills he and Cupul provided.
According to Fightnews.com the two men became reminiscent of some of the greats of the past: “In the manner of Floyd Patterson attempting to do damage against George Chuvalo, it seemed that the harder Smith seemed to punch, the more vigorous was Cupul’s return fire. Smith is a steady, if not huge (in volume and power) puncher who did his best to unload power shots and he did not neglect the body, but while Cupul was cut over his left eye in the fifth and his eyes were welting badly by fight’s end, he never really backed down. Promoter Salita knows where to go if he wants to bring in a sure-fire action fight for his next card.
In the night’s main event, Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks got out to an early lead and then held off a late charge by determined New Yorker, Emilio Salas to keep his undefeated (now 7-0) record intact. Banks was able to drop Salas twice, but expended a lot of energy in doing so, which enabled Salas to come on strong behind his southpaw jab in the final three rounds.
“This was another great fight that neither fighter deserved to lose,” continued Salita. “Demetrius showed his power and boxing skills early and Emilio showed his amazing heart and conditioning late. It was competitive and intense through out the whole contest and had fans standing on their feet.”
In other action, Detroit’s James Ballard saw his star continue to rise with a unanimous decision over Edgar Perez, while local product Dorell Van Horn moved to 9-0, 6 KOs with a KO of Francisco Reza. Also making quick, but impressive, work of their opponents were Clarence Dubose, Serdar Hudayberdiyev, and Giorgi Gelashvili.
In a redemption of sorts, Alexey Zubov of Russia, now fighting for Kronk, got back in the win column with a stoppage of Damon McCreary. He is now 11-1, 7 KOs.
“Alexey didn’t show what he can do in his last fight, the loss on TV,” said Salita. “He got his confidence back and showed a big difference from that fight by punching in hard combinations to the head and body. He wants another chance to show the world he had a bad night but is a very good fighter. If he keeps it up, he will get it.”
The good news is, “Detroit Brawl” will be back soon. Salita says he doesn’t have the specific date hammered down yet, but will make the announcement as soon as he does.
“My goal was to try to help bring Detroit boxing back to life and I’m very happy with the progress so far. The Masonic Temple was a very exciting place to be that night. I am grateful to everyone who helped make it happen and can’t wait to do it all again.”