Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields Stops Szilvia Szabados on Showtime

By Mike Sloan Mar 10, 2017
Claressa Shields made history last summer, when she became the first American to capture gold medals in boxing in back-to-back Olympics. She headlined a Showtime boxing event on Friday, marking the first time a women’s bout had ever shouldered a premium network broadcast. Shields aimed for a knockout and made good on her promise.

Shields was all over Szilvia Szabados from the start, as she swarmed her with an endless cascade of punches. Szabados tried to create space, but Shields landed nearly half of everything she threw, rattling the Hungarian’s head back and forth and side to side like a Bobblehead doll. Szabados (15-9, 6 KOs) hung tough as long as she could, but Shields eventually forced referee Harvey Dock to intervene.

The end came at 1:30 of the fourth round, where Shields slammed a left hook into Szabados’ jaw and improved to 2-0 with her first pro knockout in front of hundreds of her hometown fans in Detroit. Her win capped off a solid night in the latest “ShoBox: The New Generation” installment and brought with it the vacant NABF female middleweight title.

Meanwhile, Nikolay Potapov was just a pinch better than fellow bantamweight Antonio Nieves in the co-feature, winning a split decision over 10 hard-fought rounds. In what was more of a chess match, Potapov (17-0-1, 8 KOs) used better overall movement and landed the superior punches. Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs) tried making it brawl in spurts, but the Russian would not allow it. When it was all said and done, two judges favored Potapov with scores of 96-94, while the third cast the same score for Nieves.

Elsewhere, welterweight contender Wesley Tucker improved to 14-0 (8 KOs) with a dominant though uneventful unanimous decision over Ed Williams. The two fighters fought mostly in the clinch, igniting boos and jeers from the crowd. Williams (12-1-2, 4 KOs) had two points deducted in the fight for repeated blows to the back of the head. In the end, Tucker was the clear-cut winner, as he was awarded tallies of 77-73, 79-71 and 78-72.

In the opening bout, super bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. won his ninth fight in a row by scoring a sensational one-punch knockout of James Gordon Smith in the sixth round. Greer (12-1-1, 5 KOs) controlled the action throughout with superior speed and accuracy and scored a knockdown in the fifth. Just as he was backing toward the ropes in the following frame, Greer delivered a perfect right hook to the jaw, knocking Smith (11-1, 6 KOs) face first onto the canvas. He was out cold, the end coming at 2:06 of Round 6.

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