The clocks are ticking and the countdown intensifies expectations. Only 10 days remain to see World Boxing Association champion Claressa Shields face her top opponent Savannah Marshall. The special spice, for October 15, is that there is a deep desire for a rematch because of the well-known amateur history between the them.
The numbers for both of them shine on their own. They accumulate resounding successes in one of the most historically attractive categories. Naturally, there are differences between the two beyond what is legible. Differences that could determine the course of action in the fight to have it all at 160 pounds.
Shields transcended boundaries since her amateur days. Everyone knew her name because she had become a phenomenon out of the ordinary between the ropes for the female branch of boxing. Her performances were talked about by every fighter who participated in international competitions with her.
Since she started boxing at age 11, Claressa set the path to prove that she would be the best, that she could do well and succeed. Sexual abuse, her father in jail, a mother sickened by alcohol and the streets, forged a hermetic woman, with difficulty to trust people, but paradoxically, it was also what created a Claressa with the strength of a Tyrannosaurus.
Becoming U.S. champion at the age of 16 was just the beginning. She went on to 63 victories, multiple local and world championships until she reached the sport’s pinnacle; the Olympic Games. To this day, Shields is the only female fighter to have won two Olympic gold medals. In that stage, she only had one stumbling block, the only defeat in her career, which completes the 64 fights she fought in amateurism. And he owes that blemish to Savannah Marshall.
And what happened in that 2012 World Championship bout in Qinhuangdao, China?
That year when T-REX lost her undefeated record, Marshall, nicknamed the “Silent Assassin” because of her shyness, became the first British world medalist. And both went to the 2012 London Olympics when the doors were opened to women.
But how did Marshall beat Shields in China? The young Brit had the necessary in-ring skills, adjusted to the “one punch, one point” system that was required at the time in amateurism. Standing tall, with her guard up, prioritizing the use of her legs to move continuously, jabbing to keep her opponent away and connecting with speed when she found her chance. In that way he managed to leave Shields with a lack of precision in his frontal and aggressive attack that served him well to make Marshall feel his power in some passages of that fight. Marshall made good use of her height and continually made Shields walk to make her miss. Her punches scored the points she needed and the victory.
Ten years and 5 months have passed since then. Marshall has changed her technique when she moved to the professional ranks and that’s how she stands with 12 unblemished contests with 10 knockouts. She now has a profiled style and is more rooted to the ground, but continues to make good use of her legs and jab to stay away from her opponents in a fight.
Marshall has something that Shields, GWOAT (Greatest Woman Of All Time) or T-REX, wants to add to her great accomplishments another historic milestone: undisputed 160-pound champion. So what we might expect is that Shields continues to live up to her nicknames and goes out with sharp teeth to hunt her prey while she tries to stay as far away as possible. Who knows, maybe we’ll see an open one-on-one bout in the center of the British ring on October 15….