Sold-out Crowd Enjoys Memorable Night Of World-class Boxing At Salita Promotions’ Detroit Brawl

Photos by Dennis Mosley

Another sold-out crowd of raucous Motown boxing fans showed up for Salita Promotions’ latest Detroit Brawl event last Saturday night (March 5, 2022) and despite a controversial ending to the heavyweight main event, the successful card saw several exciting matchups go down in the Motor City.

Fighting in the Lincoln Ballroom of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, MI, heavyweights Robert Simms (11-3-1, 3 KOs) and undefeated New Yorker Moses “ThunderHands” Johnson (8-0, 7 KOs) saw their main event end with controversy, as an accidental foul forced an abrupt end to the bout.

After fighting evenly for the first two rounds, Simms turned his head during the action, just in time to catch two heavy shots from Johnson in the back of the head, unintentionally. After receiving the dangerous foul, Saginaw’s Simms fell to the mat for an extended period and was eventually ruled unable to continue.

Referee Gerard White and the Michigan Commission correctly ruled that because three rounds had not been completed, state rules mandate the fight be ruled a technical draw at 31 seconds of round three.

In the night’s co-main event, super middleweight Winfred “Hot Boy” Harris Jr. (22-1-1, 10 KOs) managed to get by a determined effort and the veteran tricks of proven spoiler Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson (22-24-3, 7 KOs) and win their fight by unanimous eight-round decision (scores: 79-73, 78-74 and 79-73).

Detroit’s Harris and Riverside, California’s Johnson waged an entertaining battle with Harris getting the better, but Johnson’s toughness and 50 fights worth of guile keeping things interesting throughout.

Both men had their moments in this “closer than the scorecards” affair, with Harris doing the slightly better work.

WBC #10- and IBF #9-ranked super middleweight Vladimir Shishkin put on an impressive performance in his battle against Ecuadorian trialhorse Jeyson “Verdugo” Minda, dropping Minda thrice and eventually notching a TKO victory at the 1:38 mark of the sixth round of a bout scheduled for eight.

With Tyson Fury trainer SugarHill Steward guiding him in the corner, Shishkin looked surprisingly sharp in his return from nearly a year of pandemic-induced inactivity.

Controlling the ring center with authority, Shishkin (13-0, 8 KOs) dropped Minda (14-7-1, 8 KOs) in the fourth with a right, again with a left in the fifth and finally released the finishing barrage that forced him to the floor for the third time and provoked referee Frank Garza to wave off the action.

Heading for bigger things in the near future, Shishkin suffered a minor cut to his right eye, that ruled to have been from an accidental head butt.

Intimidating Super Welterweight crusher Marlon “The Savage” Harrington (7-0, 6 KOs) of Detroit stayed unbeaten by stopping Uruguayan opponent Andres Viera (11-5, 8 KOs) at the 44 second mark of the second round.

With his characteristic savagery, Harrington tore into the outgunned South American and finally dropped him early in the second round. Upon rising, Viera indicated he’d had enough of the stone fists of Harrington, who looks to be headed for better things.

Fan from Dearborn got to enjoy one of their own in action, and super welterweight Husam Al Mashhadi (3-0, 3 KOs) gave them what they came for by stopping opponent, Devin Garrett (0-1) with an extended barrage of unanswered punches that culminated in a stoppage victory for Al Mashhadi at the 53-second mark of the opening round.

In other action, heavyweight Vernon Webber (1-0, 1 KO) won his pro debut by 36-second knockout over a hapless Luke Sills (0-1). Despite the fight’s short duration, Webber scored two knockdowns over Sills before ending the one-sided pummeling.

In the opening bout of the night, unbeaten Detroit middleweight Gordie Russ II (4-0, 4 KOs) easily took out opponent Jarrell Murray (0-4) of Iowa in 58 seconds of the first round.

Promoter Salita, who was hosting his 17th show in the area, says he’s very pleased with the overall event and says he’ll be back again next month for another rocking Detroit Brawl.

“I am grateful we had an exciting night of boxing with an enthusiastic crowd,” said Salita. “As we enter the post COVID era and fans once again can enjoy live boxing, we plan to use the momentum to keep growing world-class professional boxing with the help of the talented boxers, trainers, Detroit gyms and most importantly the fans.”

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