Ardreal Holmes Jr. defends USBA Super Welterweight title to Marlon Harrington
Flint’s Unbeaten Ardreal Holmes Jr. Duels Detroit’s Marlon Harrington in Main Event; Plus Undefeated Ali Izmailov Takes on Britton Norwood in Co-Main Event
Salita Promotions will launch the inaugural “Big Time Boxing USA” event streaming live on DAZN with an action-packed night of fights on Tuesday, February 20 headlined by a 10-round all-Michigan showdown as Flint’s Ardreal Holmes Jr. defends his USBA Super Welterweight Championship against Detroit’s Marlon Harrington topping a card from Wayne State Fieldhouse in Detroit.
February 20 will be the first “Big Time Boxing USA” event in a deal between Salita Promotions and DAZN to present a combination of talent development and championship cards. The live streaming action kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see unbeaten USBA Light Heavyweight Champion Ali Izmailov face Britton Norwood in a 10-round bout in the co-main event.
Action on DAZN will also feature a battle of unbeatens, as Grand Rapids-native and U.S. National Amateur Champion standout Joshua Pagan battles Detroit’s Dwane Taylor in an eight-round lightweight bout, plus undefeated Dearborn-native Da’Velle Smith competes in a six-round middleweight affair.
Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased online HERE or in-person at the Wayne State Fieldhouse Box Office. This will be the first boxing event at Wayne State Fieldhouse, the home to the Detroit Pistons’ G-League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, and comes after Salita Promotions delivered the first boxing event ever at Little Caesars Arena, the home of the Pistons, in June 2023.
“I’m very excited about the partnership with DAZN and the ability to promote our fighters to a worldwide audience,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “We are starting the “Big Time Boxing USA” series in one of boxing’s historic cities, which for decades was synonymous with the champions of Detroit, and at one of the city’s premier venues, the Wayne State Fieldhouse. I look forward to showcasing and developing boxing’s top talent in exciting matchups.”
“We are looking forward to working with Salita Promotions once again,” said Alfie Sharman, VP, DAZN. “With Dmitriy’s exciting stable, coupled with our best in class production and knowledge of the sport, we feel that together we can create something very special with these shows.”
Additional bouts on the undercard will see unbeaten Grand Rapids-native and USA Olympic Team Captain Joseph Hicks Jr. (9-0, 6 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight contest, unbeaten WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Champion Juan Carrillo (11-0, 8 KOs), coming off a win against fellow unbeaten Richard Vansiclen to face Florida’s Jose Cortes (10-4, 3 KOs) in an eight-round attraction and Mount Clemens’ Luis Quintero (7-0, 7 KOs) looking to stay unbeaten in a four-round super lightweight fight.
Ardreal Holmes Jr. vs Marlon Harrington
The 29-year-old Holmes Jr. (14-0, 5 KOs), known in the ring as “Bossman,” is a 6’ 2” southpaw and 2016 U.S. Olympic alternate coming off a trio of impressive professional victories as his competition has increased. He earned 10-round unanimous decisions over Vernon Brown in 2022 and Ismael Villarreal in February 2023 before capturing his title in his most recent bout in June in Detroit. This outing saw Holmes emerge victorious via a technical decision over Wendy Toussaint, after a cut suffered by his opponent due to an accidental headbutt halted the fight in round eight.
“I’m thankful and very excited to be having my first title defense in my home state,” said Holmes. “The fans are going to be the winner on February 20, because this fight, and the whole card, are going to be action packed. I’m going to show all the fans in Detroit and watching on DAZN who the best guy at 154 pounds is. This performance is gonna put the whole division on notice.”
Trained in his hometown at Detroit’s World’s Best Boxing Gym, Harrington (10-1, 9 KOs) enters this fight off of back-to-back stoppage victories following a decision loss to Marquis Taylor in 2022. The 31-year-old dispatched of the previously unbeaten Gheith Karim in the first round in June, an impressive performance that he followed up by stopping veteran Ramses Agaton in round three in September.
“Training camp is in full swing and there’s no better way to start the year than to bring the title back home to Detroit,” said Harrington. “The fans can expect fireworks in this one. I’m coming to light up the ring for sure on February 20. Get your popcorn!”
Ali Izmailov vs Britton Norwood
Originally from Russia, residing in Detroit and trained in Miami with John David Jackson, Izmailov (11-0, 7 KOs) took another step toward contender status by picking up his belt with a unanimous decision over then unbeaten Charles Foster in June, establishing himself as a future force in the division. The 30-year-old owns two impressive victories in 2022, taking down previously unbeaten opponents Abraham Tebes and world rated Eric Murguia.
“My long-term goal is simple, to be the Undisputed Light Heavyweight World Champion,” said Izmailov. “I prepare seriously for every fight and I’m working hard with my trainer John David Jackson in Florida. I plan to showcase my skills and get one step closer to fighting the division’s best.”
Norwood (13-4-1, 10 KOs) will enter this matchup on a three-fight winning streak, including a first round knockout of the then once-beaten Nicolas Masseroni in April of last year. Originally from Jackson, Mississippi and now fighting out of Las Vegas, Norwood has won seven of his last eight outings, including a decision over the previously unbeaten Andrei Odintsov in February 2020.
“I’m training with former world champion Joel Casamayor for this fight, and I believe that it’s going to be the difference on February 20,” said Norwood. “There’s only one reason I’m taking this fight, and that’s to step into the ring on fight night and take Izmailov’s head off and walk out of there with his belt.”
Joshua Pagan vs Dwane Taylor
The 23-year-old Pagan (9-0, 4 KOs) was prolific in 2023, earning five victories, including a third-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Ronnell Burnett in June. He began the move down to lightweight in his last bout as he shutout Braulio Rodriguez across six-rounds in October. Pagan won the 2021 U.S. Amateur Welterweight National Championship with a unanimous decision over Keon Davis and followed that up by turning pro in January 2022.
Taylor (7-0, 7 KOs) has stopped every opponent he’s faced since turning pro in September 2021, and will step up in competition to challenge Pagan on February 20. All seven of Taylor’s wins have come in his hometown of Detroit, including his most recent triumph that saw him stop Carlo Nunez in two rounds last February.
Unbeaten since turning pro in 2021, Smith (7-0, 6 KOs) burst onto the scene by winning the WBC’s inaugural Big Belt Championship with a first round knockout of Ricky Evans. The 23-year-old has continued his winning ways since then, picking up three triumphs in 2023. He stopped the previously unbeaten Kahydlian Woods and veterans Gyorgy Mizsei and Dedrick Bell last year as he hopes to launch himself into contender status in 2024.
Tickets On Sale Now!