Boxing News

Junior Wright moves up to heavyweight

Former cruiserweight world title challenger “Hurricane” Junior Wright has been hitting the weights hard and will enter the ring for the first time as a heavyweight in his next ring appearance.

Wright (15-2-1, 12 KOs) from Evanston, Illinois, expects to come in at a muscular 225 lbs. when he takes on Detroit’s Damon McCreary (15-6, 11 KOs) in an eight-round featured bout on promoter Dmitriy Salita’s special Sunday edition of his “Detroit Brawl” series on January 22 at Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at VIP $123, Box Seats are $80 and $60, Seating is $40, and $20. They are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

“Training is going well,” said Wright. “I’m treating this like another world title fight because at this level anyone could beat you on any day.”

Despite a short, 50-fight, amateur career, Wright was a Chicago Golden Gloves winner as an amateur. He was able to drop Beibut Shumenov in May of this year, challenging for the WBA world championship.

“The biggest thing I learned in that fight is to relax in the ring. When you’re relaxed, you are more aware in there and can pace yourself a lot better.”

Wright’s trainer, Rick Wilson, says the decision to gain 25 lbs. gives the fighter, who he says can still get down to cruiserweight’s 200-lb limit, more career options moving forward.

“Junior is like a Holyfield-type of fighter who is a cruiserweight in his early 20s and then grows into a full-fledged heavyweight near his 30s. People like small, agile heavyweights better than the lumbering monsters hugging each other all fight. They make for more exciting fights.”

Wilson says because of Wright’s relative lack of experience, the world hasn’t seen the best of him yet.

“How many fighters have had two world title fights by their 18th pro fight (the fight against Chakhkiev was for the IBO World Cruiserweight Championship) after having just 50 amateur fights?” he asked. “Plus Junior was knocking everybody out, so he had very few rounds in the bank and went in on short notice. The best of Junior Wright is still to be seen. He’s a very special talent.”

In separate eight-rounders will be a pair of recognizable contenders, Detroit fan favorite Lanardo “Pain Server” Tyner (30-10-2, 19 KOs) and welterweight KO artist Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov (11-0, 10 KOs) from Houston, Texas, via Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan will face opponents in separate bouts.

In other scheduled eight-rounders will be transplanted cruiserweight Alexey Zubov (13-1, 8 KOs), from Magnitogorsk, Russia, now living in Detroit and Detroit’s all-action bantamweight James Gordon Smith (11-0, 6 KOs).

In six-round bouts will be resurgent Detroit welterweight “Lightning” Larry Ventus (7-11-1, 3 KOs); and undefeated Toledo super middleweight prospect DeAndre Ware (8-0, 6 KOs).

In exciting scheduled four-rounders will be talented, undefeated bantamweight Jarico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (4-0, 3 KOs); 2016 Olympic alternate and undefeated middleweight Ardreal Holmes (4-0, 2 KOs) of Flint; and undefeated Detroit heavyweight and former National Golden Gloves champion Marcus Carter (1-0, 1 KO).

All opponents are, thus far, TBA, but matchmaker Dennis Turner is hard at work to make another spectacular night that these shows are known for.

On fight night, doors open at 4:00 pm and the fights begin at 5:00 pm. The Masonic Temple is located at 500 Temple Street in Detroit.

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