On Thursday, August 20, 2020, promoter Dmitriy Salita will kick off a very special series of no spectator professional boxing shows entitled “DETROIT BRAWL AT THE LEGENDARY KRONK” at Detroit’s Kronk Gym.
Featuring undefeated WBC #10-rated super middleweight Vladimir Shishkin (10-0, 6 KOs) of Detroit via Serpukhov, Russia, taking on Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico’s battle-tested Oscar “El Monstruo” Riojas (21-13-1, 10 KOs) in the 10-round main event, the entire event will be livestreamed exclusively on the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, UFC FIGHT PASS® (7pm ET/4pm PT).
“It’s great to kick off this exciting series from the legendary Kronk Gym in the historic boxing city of Detroit and fulfill the hunger of boxing fans and fighters alike who are craving hard-hitting action,” said Dmitriy Salita. “The main event will be a tough test for world-ranked rising star Vladimir Shishkin, and we have several more high-profile fights that we will be announcing shortly. I am thrilled to be able to showcase these fighters to the fight-savvy UFC FIGHT PASS audience.”
Trained by SugarHill Steward at the Kronk Gym, the 28-year-old Shishkin first made his presence felt in his United States debut in August of last year, registering an eighth-round technical knockout against then once-beaten DeAndre Ware.
A former amateur standout in Russia, the 6’ 1” Shishkin scored 301 wins in 330 fights before turning professional in 2016. Despite having just 10 professional fights, Shishkin has already won the WBA Continental Super Middleweight Championship with a KO win over Gasan Gasanov. Shishkin holds a successful title defense against former world title challenger and world-rated contender, Nadjib Mohammedi, via TKO. Shishkin was last seen scoring a dominant unanimous decision over then-undefeated (15-0-2) Californian Ulises Sierra in January of this year.
“It is an honor to be fighting in the first event at the legendary gym where I train and have learned so much about fighting as a professional,” said Vladimir Shishkin. “And with the reach of UFC FIGHT PASS, my fight can be watched by my fans across the USA and back home in Russia. I will work hard to put on a spectacular performance worthy of this recognition.”
A “boxing businessman,” Oscar Riojas is a hard-nosed slugger who always comes to fight, win or lose, regardless of the opponent’s reputation. The 36-year-old veteran says he uses his fight purses to open a café in Mexico and to support his extended family including his parents. Better than his record, Riojas has been on the controversial end of some of his fights against top competition and says he’s ready for war against who he calls the “untested” Shishkin.
“I always come for war, no matter who I face,” said Riojas. “My Russian opponent is undefeated, but he has never been in the trenches with a true warrior. We are going to see if he is what they say he is on August 20. Tell him to be ready.”
Originally run out of the basement of the oldest recreation center of the City of Detroit, the legendary Kronk Gym rose to prominence under the guidance of hall-of-fame trainer, Emanuel Steward, in the 1980s. Producing such homegrown greats including multiple World Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, lightweight champion Hilmer Kenty, WBC's World Welterweight Champion Milton McCrory, IBF Lightweight king Jimmy Paul, and WBC Junior Middleweight champ Duane Thomas among many others.
Seeking out the Kronk magic, world champions and all-time greats such as Michael Moorer, Héctor Camacho, Julio César Chávez, Naseem Hamed, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis all trained under the eagle-eyed tutelage of Steward.
After Steward's unfortunate death, Kronk Gym relocated to a modern new Detroit facility in 2015, under the guidance of Steward’s nephew, Javan SugarHill Steward. Steward has gone on to forge his own growing legend, working with a new group of fighting champions and contenders, including lineal and unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“This will be a historic fight because Emanuel was trying to do something just like this before he died,” said Javan SugarHill Steward. “He did amateur shows at the gym but a big pro show like this is something he was working on. To continue his legacy like this is amazing. It’s going to be fire.”