By: Sean Cross
She may be the greatest of all female warriors. She has won gold medals, world titles and awards. Claressa Shields has yet to best Savannah Marshall, although they did battle once in the ring, in 2011. In 2012. Marshall won that amateur fight, but it was Shields who rose as a comet in boxing’s professional ranks. Now the two women are set to meet again ten years after their first and only fight at London’s O2 Arena. The shields didn’t seem worried. In fact, she impersonated Marshall at a press conference announcing Thursday’s condemnation. “I don’t hate Savannah Marshall,” Shields said, “but I’ve worked harder, and the accomplishments show that.”
The 12-0 Shield is undoubtedly the bigger name of the two fighters, with Marshall – also 12-0 – holding the WBO middleweight title. Shields, who now holds the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight belts, will become the undisputed world middleweight champion if the winner of Saturday’s fight. They may appear to be evenly matched, but there are major differences between the Shield and the Martial. Yes, they come from different countries and have different races, but what really sets these women apart is their respective fighting styles.
Shields, on the other hand, is a walking, talking skill set. She easily dominates and takes out opponents with incredible consistency. Marshall, on the other hand, is a knock-off artist. In fact, the last time Marshall’s competition went the distance was in 2011. It was in 2018. For the record, that was eight fights ago. Marshall only went the distance twice. Shields only stopped the fight twice. Again, the difference in style between the two undefeated titles is stark. It is worth noting that Marshall is almost four inches taller than Shields, and that Shields is four years younger than Marshall.
In short, there is a lot of intrigue leading up to Saturday’s match. The winner can actually prove to be the first female boxer on the planet. Considering women’s boxing is making real strides, it’s finally getting the respect and eyeballs it deserves, so there’s a lot to note here. With the brilliant Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano fight in New York last April, it will be interesting to see how Shields-Marshall fares in London this weekend. The fact that Shields and Marshall don’t like each other much adds to the drama.