Salita Strikes Again, as ‘Detroit Brawl’ Leaves Motown Boxing Fans Breathless
Promoter Dmitriy Salita and his matchmaker, Dennis Turner, did it again tonight (Saturday, November 12) with their latest “Detroit Brawl” at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, as they put on another terrific night of fights.
The left side of the bout sheet is never a haven on a Salita show and tonight was another example of that.
In the six-round bantamweight main event, Detroit’s undefeated James “OG” Gordon Smith (11-0, 6 KOs) put on another of his typical performances, meaning he was in a back-and-forth slugfest, this time against a battle tank made in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, named Olim “The Muslim Warrior” Nazarov (14-3, 8 KOs).
With all the trimmings of a Smith fight: momentum changes and bombs landing to the “oohs and ahhs” of the crowd, Smith managed to outwork Nazarov on his way to a unanimous decision (scores 59-55, 58-56 and 58-56).
Smith tried to jab and move, but can’t resist a good war. After being clubbed by a few of the Uzbek’s powerful shots, it was bombs away for five entertaining rounds of action. The Detroiter deserves plenty of credit for this victory, as Nazarov was a world, Asian and four-time Uzbekistani champion in the amateurs.
In the six-round lightweight co-main event, Muheeb “Flashy” Fazeldin (9-0-1, 3 KOs) from Sheffield, United Kingdom via Yemen, won a six-round unanimous decision over Modesto, California’s Michael Gaxiola (4-9).
Fazeldin landed more punches, compared to Gaxiola’s harder, less frequent offerings. The real story lies in Fazeldin’s thug-like gang of fans, who over-run the ring after all his fights and basically create a serious safety hazard for the rest of the fans in attendance.
Fazeldin’s unjustified showboating, paired with the unruly mob who support him, do nothing for his likeability. Leave it at that.
The scores were 58-56, 60-54 and 58-56.
Toledo, Ohio, welterweight Wesley “Casanova” Tucker (13-0, 8 KOs) made the most of his promotional debut under the Salita Promotions banner by annihilating poor Richard Hall (11-25-3, 7 KOs) in 47 seconds.
What was supposed to be a six-round showcase was over before the ring announcer sat back down, as Tucker went straight for the kill behind blazing fists that pounded Hall into the floor like a carpenter’s nail.
In many ways, things didn’t go according to the usual script in the six-round super lightweight battle between transplanted Georgian Giorgi “Goga” Gelashvili and Detroit’s “Lightning” Larry Ventus.
Ventus came in with an upside-down record of 6-11-1, 3 KOs, and, pre-fight, appeared to be mere cannon fodder for the undefeated Gelashvili… That’s not what happened.
What unfolded instead was a well-trained and highly skilled Ventus putting on a focused and impressive performance, winning a surprise split decision (57-56 Gelashvili, 59-54 Ventus and 57-56 Ventus).
In an entertaining scrap between two foes who seemed to genuinely dislike each other, Ventus’ pinpoint counters and slick head movement overshadowed the work of the more aggressive Gelashvili.
No shame in losing, the always entertaining Gelashvili lost a questionable point in round four for holding, which, per the judges, cost him a draw and his undefeated record (now 5-1, 3 KOs). Ventus, for one fight at least, appears to have been reborn as an ice-cold ring assassin with laser-like accuracy and thudding power.
Detroit’s Zach Shamoun and Dallas, Texas’ Charles Clark went to war for four entertaining rounds in their bantamweight slugfest.
In a back-and-forth battle of attrition, Shamoun (4-0-2, 3 KOs) got the better early with heavy combinations, but Clark (1-1-1, 1 KO) took over in the final two rounds and nearly scored the stoppage.
Credit the local judges for not awarding a robbery to the local. The scores were 38-38, 39-37 and 38-38 for a well-deserved majority draw. Shamoun saved his undefeated record by not going down under heavy fire in round three. These two showed tremendous heart in this this thriller and they should do it again.
Fighting at the preliminary level, it’s hard to get a read on fighters like Detroit’s Ja’Rico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn because they tear through their opposition too quickly to show their true mettle.
The former amateur standout O’Quinn, now a professional bantamweight, stayed undefeated (4-0, 3 KOs) by tearing up Wilson, North Carolina’s Robert Allen Jr. (0-2) in 1:30 of the first round. So far, the talented O’Quinn looks like the real thing, but only stronger opposition in the future will tell the true tale.
In the four-round welterweight opener, Detroit’s Raphael Sinegal pitched a shutout against Flint veteran Darryol Humphery, winning a unanimous decision (40-35 X 3).
Aside from going down in the first for an eight count, Humphery (2-7) used his veteran tricks to stay out of danger, but didn’t mount a consistent offense. Sinegal (now 2-1, 1 KO) clearly wanted to fight, but didn’t have a willing enough dance partner.