Salita Promotions – Dmitriy Salita, Matchmaker – Lina Kurylyuk who did an excellent job in matching the opponents at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Friday over Showtime presented a top notch event. In the Main Event Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, former WBC & IBF World Female Super Middleweight and WBC, IBF & WBA World Female Middleweight Champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, of Flint, MI, shut out former IBO World Female Middleweight Champion Ivana Habazin, of Zagreb, Croatia, winning the vacant WBC & WBO World Female Super Welterweight titles. Shields won her third division title by going down in weight unlike any others who did it going up in weight and faster than any of them!
In the Main Event unbeaten Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, 10-0 (2), #153 1/2, out of Flint, MI, shut out Ivana Habazin, 20-4 (7), #152 1/2, out of Zagreb, Croatia, over 10×2 rounds for the vacant WBC & WBO World Female Super Welterweight titles.
In the first round Shields with the crowd behind her toyed with Habazin. In the second round Shields came out doing her thing up the the end of the round when Habazin swung her into the ropes at the bell. Shields stared her down. In the third round Shields continued using an effective jab that had Habazin on the defense. Shields stood in a corner looking down at the canvas and suddenly landed several jabs without looking up!
In the fourth Habazin would grab and walk Shields to the ropes and then take some chopping shots from Shields to the head throughout the round. In the fifth round Habazin continued landing behind the head and Shields retaliated giving her a body and head beating. Habazin would walk into the power of Shields using her head. At the close of the round Shields from her corner looked into the crowd as Habazin came in and put a combination to the head of Habazin who was trying to land back.
In the sixth round Shields started showboating a bit shaking her head as if to tell Habazin “you got nothing!” Shields went on the attack with a body shot dropping Habazin while referee Sparkle Lee gave her an 8-count.
In the seventh round coming out to finish the fight Shiields trainer former world champion John David Jackson sent her out for the finish! Referee Lee rrely warned Habazin for rabbit punching. Habazin forced Shields against the ropes landing several legal punches without return.
In the eighth round Shields continued to “play to the crowd” throwing punches with “bad intentions!” Shields had Habazin hurt and holding bringing a warning to Habazin from referee Lee. Habazin walked back to her corner a beaten fighter.
In the ninth round to her credit Habazin came out making a fight of it standing her ground giving as much as she was taking and even going southpaw. Shields would have nothing of it as she threw punch after punch to the body for the most part. She landed a right to the left shoulder than could be heard throughout the arena. Give Habazin credit for her effort in this round.
In the tenth and final round Habazin came out bulling Shields to the ropes trying to do the only thing she could as Shields layed into her without letting up. Habazin came back and they were throwing punch at the bell! Give Habazin credit for going the distance.
Referee: Sparkle Lee; Scoring Judge’s Debra Barnes 100-91, Lynne Carter 99-89 and Robin Taylor 100-89 as did this writer have it.
“I heard Andre Ward say “take it to the body,” said Shields. She had her crown on her head to the delight of the fans!
Unbeaten can’t miss Welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 25-0 (23), #145 ¾, out of Philadelphia ranked No. 13 WBO & No. 15 IBF stopped Bakhtiyar Eyubov, 14-2-1 (12), #146 ¼, of KAZ, out of Houston, TX, at 0:34 of the fourth round of a scheduled 10.
In the first round it was all Ennis as he dropped Eyubov twice with shots to the body and head. The many fans went nuts! Eyubov was fortunate to get thru the round being busted up! In the lsecond round the rugged Eyubov came out throwing bombs that rarely hit their target. He had guts but couldn’t match the skills of Ennis who beat up his body.
In the third round Eyubov used his head as a third glove but Ennis beat him up in the body for the most part. Ennis rocked him on several times right up to the bell. In the fourth round Ennis came out going to the head for the most part. Eyubov was cut on top of the head taking a beating but still trying when referee Earl Brown had seen enough and halted it! Commissioner Larry Hazzard advised Brown he had seen enough.
Ennis is the best fighter out of Philadelphia since 1984 Olympian Meldrick Taylor and a future champion. They can keep the judges at home. “He came to fight. He was a good fighter but not so strong. I set him up in the first round with left uppercuts. I had to calm down in the first round due to being a little hyped. I thought everything was cool. I’ve been ready for the top guys from the start,” said Ennis.
It’s not who is Ennis ready for but who is ready for Ennis? He disposed of his toughest opponent to date. He gets turned down by half a dozen opponents every fight.
In a unification bout WBA World Female Super Middleweight Champion Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon Espinosa, 12-2 (7), #164, out of Lindenhurst, NY, lost a highly disputed decision to IBF World Female Super Middleweight Champion Elin Cederroos, 8-0 (4), #166 1/2, of Vasteraas, Sweden, over 10×2 rounds.
In the first round both fighters let it all out from the opening bell! Espinosa won the round rocking the taller Cederroos on several occasions. In the second round a right from Cederroos on the chin of Espinosa knocked her into the ropes ruling a knockdown. Up to that point she was ahead in the round. She beat the count of referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. with a matter of seconds left in the round.
In the third round Espinosa recovered well from the knockdown to take over in this round with left hooks to the chin of Cederoos. In the fourth round Cederoos came out throwing rights and hurt Espinosa with one on the chin. Espinosa immediately reacted and went on the attack. In the final ten seconds Espinosa hurt Cederoos with a variety of punches having her holding on at the bell.
In the fifth round it was close with Cederoos using an effective jab with occasional rights on the chin. Espinosa was able to slip most of the rights and countered well enough to have an edge. In the sixth round Espinosa would slip jabs and counter with left hooks to the chin of Cederoos who seemed to be pressing looking to land her right.
In the seventh round Espinosa showed excellent skills tempting Cederoos by allowing her left hanging to her side. When Cederoos would throw the right Espinosa would slip it and counter to the body and head. In the eighth round while Cederoos realizing she was behind was looking to land the right. Espinosa would bob and weave and counter her with both hands always staying one step ahead looking for a knockout as the fans were helling “Alica, Alica”.
In the ninth round it was close as Espinosa would move more and counter while Cederoos kept looking to land the right but failed on most occasions. In the tenth and final round both fighters were cut throwing bombs. Cederoos had a bloody nose and Espinosa a cut over the right eye. The fans went nuts! What a round with Cederoos having an edge though it could have gone either way.
“First I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for without him I am nothing. I thought I won the fight but there must have been a reason for it not to be,” said Espinosa. Espinosa has all the tools and is a true champion!
Referee: Benjy Esteves, Jr. Scoring Judge’s Mark Consentino, Lawrence Layton and John McKaie 95-94 and this writer had it 97-92 Espinosa. A rematch is a must! The winner had two good rounds in the knockdown round and the final round. The WBA and IBF should insist on a rematch!
Heavyweights Apti Davtaev, 19-0-1 (18), #255.4, of Kurchaloi, RUS, stopped Keith Barr, 20-13-1 (8), #207.6, of Glenville, WV, at 0:38 of the third round of a scheduled 6.
In the first round Davtaev used his hight and reach while Barr who is a southpaw used his hand speed. In the second round a pair of rights from Davtaev on the chin of Barr and down he went but managed to beat the count of referee Gonzalez.
In the third round a vicious right from Davtaev on the chin of Barr and down he went. As he got up he stumbled toward the ropes and referee Gonzalez wisely waved off the fight.
“I would like to fight Bryan,” said Davatev.
Welterweight Joseph Bonas, 7-0 (6), #152, out of Romania and Detroit, MI, stopped Glenn Mitchell, 3-5 (3), #149.4, out of Steubenvillle, OH, at 1:55 of the second round in a scheduled 4.
In the first round Bonas was the aggressor while the taller Mitchell showed a good jab landing a solid right to the chin halfway thru the round. Bonas ended the round with a right on the chin of Mitchell. In the second round a Bonas right to the body followed by several left hooks on the chin and Mitchell was out on his feet as referee Ricky Gonzalez wisely stopped the fight.
Welterweight Jacob Bonas, 5-0-1 (2), #146.6, out of Romania and Detroit, MI, defeated Christian Rivera, 1-1-1 (0), #146.2, out of Highwood, IL, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Bonas controlled the first two minutes until a right from Rivera on the chin wobbled him. Bonas immediately grabbed Rivera. He managed to clear his head to get thru the round. In the second round only once did both fighters land left hooks to the chin at the same time. Otherwise Bonas controlled the round with left hooks to the chin of Rivera.
In the third round Bonas dominated except for a right on the chin from Rivera halfway thru the round. Bonas again used a left hook and an occasional lead right to take the round. In the fourth and final round Bonas continued to control with left hooks as Rivera seemed to weaken from the previous round.
Judges scores were 39-37 as was this writer’s score.
PR: Andre Courtemanche of Salita Promotions. “I’ve been writing for 14 years but never treated better by Courtmanche and the Salita people!”
Ring Announcer “Classy” Jimmy Lennon