By: Sean Crose
“After a ten-year war of words,” Boxxer stated in a Monday press release,
“the greatest rivalry in women’s boxing history will reach it’s dramatic conclusion in England’s historic capital.” Sure enough, Claressa Shields, arguably the best fighter in women’s boxing, will be taking on arch rival Savannah Marshall, the only fighter to beat Shields in a boxing ring, on September 10th at London’s O2 Arena. No matter that the first Shields-Marshall was an amateur affair, there’s bad blood to be found here. “I don’t hate nobody but I really do have a huge dislike for her,” Shields said at a Monday press conference. “My grandmother told me not to use the word hate so I won’t use it, but I don’t like Savannah and she’s one of my biggest haters.”
The Shields-Marshall fight will be for the undisputed middleweight championship. The 12-0 Shields holds the WBC, WBA and IBF straps while the 12-0 Marshall has the WBO title in her possession. Shields, notably enough, has held the undisputed middleweight championship before. She’s also held the undisputed light heavyweight championship. Per the press release, Shields is “the first and only boxer ever to hold the four major titles in two weight classes simultaneously.”
Marshall, of course, is oozing confidence. “I’m actually a fan of Claressa Shields,” she said at the press conference. “She’s a pioneer and what she has done for the sport has been amazing. But the reality is, she doesn’t beat me. She didn’t before and she won’t again. And it kills her, it absolutely burns her inside, the fact that I beat her and I’ll beat her again. I’m not just going to beat her, I’m going to outbox her. I’m going to hurt her.”
There’s another big fight to be found on the Shields-Marshall card. WBO and IBF junior lightweight titlist Mikaela Mayer will be squaring off against WBC junior lightweight titlist Alycia Baumgardner. The winner of that particular fight will be but one title away from becoming the division’s undisputed champion. “I’m here to make the biggest fights possible,” said Mayer, “so I salute my team for making her an offer she couldn’t refuse. “
Mayer also made it clear that she doesn’t consider Baumgardner to be in her league. “To date, I’ve accomplished all I said I was going to do,” she said, “and this next fight will be no different. I have all the tools and experience I need. There are levels to this sport, and she’s nowhere near mine. You can bet on it.”
The Shields-Marshall card will be aired live in the United States on ESPN+.