You can’t blame undefeated super lightweight prospect Giorgi Gelashvili for feeling like the rug was pulled out from under him a little.
In search of notoriety and success in the American boxing universe, the 22-year-old from Kutaisi, Georgia, moved his home base to Brooklyn, New York, last year only to have heavy-handed new laws in the state derail his plans temporarily.
The bill, that went into effect in August, dramatically increased mandatory insurance premiums promoters must pay to put on a show in the state — from $10,000 to $50,000 for general coverage per fighter and $1 million minimum, per-fighter, in the event of brain injury. The result is that smaller shows in New York State are basically impossible to justify financially.
“It is disappointing that I can’t fight in New York,” said Gelashvili. “My first three fights were on Salita’s Brooklyn Brawl series. New York has lots of people from my country and I was building a fan base in the community.”
But like any true champion must, Gelashvili has since picked himself up and moved his fighting base to Detroit, Michigan, where a new group of fans have welcomed him warmly.
Gelashvili (5-0, 3 KOs) will face Detroiter Larry Ventus (6-11-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round showdown on Salita Promotions latest “Detroit Brawl” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, on Saturday, November 12.
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
“I had my last two fights in Detroit and it’s becoming my new boxing home,” he continued. “I know that the city is rebuilding because very time I visit, it’s nicer. New buildings are going up. Detroit has a great positive energy and it’s home to many great fighters and the world-famous Kronk Gym. I get lots of respect from the fans here. They know boxing and they most definitely love a good fight. They know I come to fight and put my heart and soul on the line. Like Detroit, I am climbing up the ranks for worldwide respect and positive recognition.”
Extremely strong and powerful for a fighter his size, Gelashvili had over 120 amateur fights winning 110 while becoming a five-time Georgian National champion. Still he maintains he’s training hard to face Ventus, who is known to pull a surprise or two out of his veteran bag of tricks.
“I know Larry Ventus is a good fighter. He has a bad record, but he has fought many top fighters and in his last fight I heard fought a very close fight with Dorin Spivey. I know he has been training for a long time for this and he is from Detroit, so he’s got the hometown advantage. I trained hard and I am ready.”
Gleashvili says many of his New York-based fans are making the trek to watch him this Saturday in Motown and that he is still very happy so far with search for fame and fortune overseas.
“I have been with Salita Promotions for a little over a year they keep me very busy and help me with transition to the US and professional boxing. I believe that they will take me to the top of my division. I am working hard and taking on all comers. November 12 in Detroit… I can’t wait!”
In the night’s main event, Detroit’s undefeated James Gordon Smith (10-0, 6 KOs) and Tashkent, Uzbekistan formidable Olim Nazarov (14-2, 8 KOs), will go to war for six rounds of bantamweight action.
In the co-main event, Muheeb “Flashy,” Fazeldin (8-0-1, 3 KOs) from Sheffield, United Kingdom via Yemen, will face Modesto, California’s Michael Gaxiola (4-9) in a six-round lightweight battle.
And in another significant six-round welterweight showdown, Salita’s newest undefeated welterweight contender Wesley Tucker (12-0, 7 KOs) will showcase his considerable talents against Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Richard Hall (11-24-3, 7 KOs).
On the undercard, undefeated super bantamweight Zach Shamoun (4-0-1, 3 KOs) will look for his fifth professional victory against Dallas, Texas’ Charles Clark (1-1, 1 KO) in a four-round bout; undefeated bantamweight Ja’Rico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Robert Allen Jr. (0-1) of Wilson, North Carolina in a four-rounder; and in an all-Michigan welterweight four-rounder, Detroit’s Raphael Sinegal (1-1, 1 KO) will face Flint, Michigan’s Darryol Humphery.
On fight night, doors open at 5:00 pm and the fights begin at 6:00 pm.