Three of the four undefeated prospects featured in this weekend’s (Friday, January 17) 250th edition of ShoBox: The New Generation from WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa (live on SHOWTIME 10 p.m. ET/PT) have done their training in the rapidly re-emerging boxing city of Detroit.
While opening televised bout combatant Ja’Rico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KOs), who faces Nevada’s Oscar Vasquez (15-2-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super flyweight contest, hails from Detroit, main event and co-main event fighters Vladimir Shishkin (9-0, 6 KOs) and Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs) have both moved to Detroit to train at the legendary Kronk Gym with high-profile trainer Sugarhill Steward.
WBC #12 Shishkin will return for his second consecutive test on ShoBox against the unbeaten Ulises Sierra (15-0-2, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event, while Ergashev, ranked No. 6 by both the WBA and IBF at 140 pounds, will face Adrian Estrella (29-4, 24 KOs) in the 10-round super lightweight co-feature.
“I have done my preparations for this fight at the Kronk Gym in Detroit with Sugarhill and I can’t wait to showcase my improvements inside the ring,” said Vladimir Shishkin, who keeps an apartment in the city and recently got his American driver’s license. “There is so much history and such a competitive atmosphere at the gym. I have grown as a fighter quickly. This is where I belong on my quest for a world championship.”
For Fergana, Uzbekistan’s Ergashev, a superstar in his homeland with over 1 million Instagram followers, moving to Detroit was necessary for his continued development.
“I love my home in Uzbekistan, but if you want to be the best, you have to go where the best are,” said Ergashev. “Training at the Kronk Gym in Detroit has been the best thing for my career. I plan to showcase not only my power but the skills I have learned here that will put on an exciting KO performance this Friday night.”
For native Motowner O’Quinn, a popular former USA National Champion and the 2013 USA Boxing Youth National Champion, fighting out of Detroit means being part of a community.
“Training in Detroit is a blessing,” said O’Quinn. “Coming from a city so rough-and-tough, you have no choice but to have thick skin and be able to withstand whatever obstacles get in your way. Being from Detroit gives you a certain type of pride where we can’t let our people down who believes in us. You have to kill us for us to not succeed.”
O’Quinn trains with Chad Jacquillard at Dynamic Boxing Club in Westland, Michigan. Jacquillard, a former accomplished amateur boxer and nine-time Golden Gloves champion from nearby Toledo, Ohio, who has faced his share of Detroit fighters.
“Detroit fighters always have a lot of heart and soul,” said Jacquillard. “The guys that come out of Detroit are the real deal. Not only do they have the skills, but they have that killer instinct that comes out of here that I haven’t seen anywhere else.”
“Detroit is known as one of America’s greatest boxing cities with so many excellent fighters in its history,” said Dmitriy Salita, promoter of all three fighters. “This Friday night will showcase three of the best contenders in boxing, all prepared with Detroit toughness for career-defining fights. These fighters have 2020 vision with winning world titles and bringing glory to Detroit, America’s Greatest Comeback City!”