This is now personal; “she’s going to have problems with me and she’s definitely not going to knock me out,” the World Boxing Association middleweight champion told the British press on Saturday night. Shields was on hand as a spectator for the Savannah Marshall fight, who took out Femke Hermans in the third round with a powerful left hook.
Marshall is the thorn for Shields. The only blemish on her record. Both women fought as amateur elites and T-Rex tasted the only defeat at that stage. That’s why, now that both are positioned as two of the pro world’s top women’s 160-pounders, the Michigan native wants a rematch.
When Shields faced Ema Kozin last February, Marshall was in attendance and when the two-time Olympic champion triumphantly stepped out of the ring, they exchanged strong words of provocation. Well, it was Marshall’s turn for a siege on home soil, there at the Newcastle Arena in the United Kingdom. After finishing the show against Femke Hermans, Shields made his presence felt in the center of the ring in a strong one-on-one.
“There’s no one else in the way between me and Claressa, so it’s me and Claressa in the summer,” Marshall stated into the DAZN microphone. So we could say that the unification contest for 160 is practically a done deal and even a necessity for these two fighters. Shields holds the WBA, WBC and IBF belts, while Marshall holds the WBO belt.
For her part, the American, when asked if Marshall has the heaviest hands in women’s boxing, said, “No, she’s not, and you’re going to see it when she comes back in the summer and shows that you have to have power, you have to have skill. You have to have all of that.” To which she added another punch of words; “she’s not going to need one big punch to face me inside the ring. She’s going to need a lot.”
Both are undefeated with an equal number of fights; 12 wins, but Shields has 2 knockouts while Marshall has 10 knockouts. So, beyond settling a score, Shields will face one of the biggest challenges of her career.