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Home » Michigan boxers to appear on Shields vs Gabriels 2 undercard

Michigan boxers to appear on Shields vs Gabriels 2 undercard

Four of Michigan’s top prospects will highlight undercard action as big-time boxing returns to Detroit on Saturday, June 3 headlined by the rematch between Undisputed Middleweight World Champion and Michigan’s own Claressa Shields and four-division world champion Hanna Gabriels live from Little Caesars Arena and streamed on DAZN in the U.S. and Canada.

The lineup will see Dearborn’s Da’Velle Smith take on fellow unbeaten Kahydlian Woods in a six-round middleweight showdown, Grand Rapids’ Joshua Pagan battling the undefeated Ronnell Burnett in a six-round super lightweight attraction, Grand Rapids’ Joseph Hicks Jr.in an eight-round middleweight bout, and Dearborn’s Gheith Karim in a cross-town matchup against Detroit’s Marlon Harrington scheduled for eight rounds in the super welterweight division.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased through 313Presents.com, Ticketmaster.com and the XFINITY Box Office at Little Caesars Arena. The event is promoted by Salita Promotions and 313 Presents.

“Saturday, June 3 will be a night to remember from the opening bell, all the way until the world championship main event,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “The card will feature local talent with world class potential fighting in their most significant fights live on DAZN from Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. Detroit legends like Tommy Hearns and Hilmer Kenty will be looking on at ringside as these contenders will be fighting their most challenging opponents and hoping to prove that they are next in line to continue the elite pedigree of this legendary boxing city.”

The 22-year-old Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) made his pro debut in September 2021, winning the WBC’s inaugural Big Belt Championship by knocking out Ricky Evans in the first round. Smith would follow that triumph with a pair of knockouts in November 2021 and May 2022, before winning a unanimous decision over Devontae McDonald last August.

The Kronk Gym-trained prospect most recently stopped Gyorgy Mizsei in February. He will be opposed by the 27-year-old Woods (4-0, 3 KOs). Originally from California and now fighting out of Indianapolis, Woods turned pro last year and scored three-straight knockouts before a split-decision triumph over then unbeaten Ezekiel Scruggs in February.

Pagan (5-0, 2 KOs) won the 2021 U.S. Amateur Welterweight National Championship with a unanimous decision over Keon Davis, completing a big step on his boxing journey that began as a teenager with his father and trainer Tony. The 23-year-old followed that up by turning pro in January 2022 and earning four victories that year.

Most recently, Pagan won back-to-back decisions in Detroit to kick off 2023 as he bested Istvan Bela Orban in February and Wesley Rivers in April. He faces Kansas City, Missouri’s Burnett (9-0, 5 KOs), a 32-year-old who has fought professionally since 2017. Burnett earned three wins in 2022, including knockouts of Lantz Nave and dan Abram.

The 29-year-old Hicks (6-0, 5 KOs) started boxing at 19 and became a standout amateur before entering the pro rank. He was set to captain the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2020 summer games, before the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the proceedings. By the time the games were back on, the IOC’s formula for picking fighters in his weight class left him on the outside looking in. Undeterred, Hicks has shined as a pro, including already scoring two wins this year with triumphs over Bilal Quintyne in February and Noah Kidd in April.

Originally from Iraq and now residing in Dearborn, Michigan, Karim (9-0, 3 KOs) is trained by Jonathan Banks out of the world-renowned Kronk Gym in Detroit. The 25-year-old returned from a nearly three-year layoff last June and has won three-straight fights since then, most recently besting Ramses Agaton in March. He takes on Detroit’s own Harrington (8-1, 7 KOs), who trains in the same city as Karim, at Detroit’s World’s Best Boxing Gym. Harrington will be returning to the ring following his first career defeat, which came via decision against Marquis Taylor last October.