Joe Ramage: Savannah Marshall's eagerly anticipated undisputed middleweight title showdown with Claressa Shields is on and there could be fireworks

Savannah Marshall’s eagerly anticipated fight with Claressa Shields is on and I can’t wait.

By Joe Ramage
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 1:00 pm

There was relief when news broke recently that a deal had been agreed between both fighters for their undisputed middleweight title showdown.

On too many occasions in boxing we, the desiring public, are often left wondering what if when it comes to the elite versus the elite as the world of boxing politics tends to get in the way and deny us of our dream bouts - see Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury for further details.

But, thankfully, this time that will not be the case as both Marshall, 31, and Shields, 27, have signed on the dotted line to end any speculation.

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Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields have clashed ahead of their fight agreement which is set for September. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

While Sky Sports’ Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom did not disclose a definitive date for the fight, American Shields, as active as ever on social media, revealed the fight will take place on Saturday, September 3.

What we don’t know however is where the fight will take place.

Having been present in Newcastle in April to witness Marshall’s second headline show as she delivered a devastating knockout blow to Belgian fighter Femke Hermans you would be hard pressed to find many, other than Shields, to stage the fight away from the North East.

Shalom, however, seemed to suggest due to the magnitude of the fight that London is a major player in hosting which would also provide a somewhat level playing field for Shields - at least more so than on Tyneside.

Savannah Marshall's long-awaited showdown with Claressa Shields is set for September. Picture by Martin Swinney

Wherever this fight happens though, all eyes will be fixated on it.

The saying often goes that styles make fights and this fight throws us the mouthwatering prospect of the arguably the hardest puncher in women’s boxing up against arguably the finest technical female boxer.

Add in the decade long rivalry which has manifested itself between the pair and we are set for a real blockbuster start to the Autumn with some early fireworks.

A month ago we saw Ireland’s Katie Taylor overcome her long-time rival Amanda Serrano in an historic night, not just for women’s boxing, but women’s sport as the pair headlined a packed out Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The appeal and investment into that particular fight cannot be denied and while Marshall and Shields is unlikely to reach those global heights, albeit moving the event to London will move it further in that direction, there should be no less emphasis placed upon this fight.

Taylor and Serrano dished up an epic encounter in the Big Apple but Marshall and Shields has the potential to be box office given the contrasting styles and Marshall's outright power.

But it’s not just the fight, it’s what it means to both competitors.

For Shields it’s an opportunity to avenge the only blot on her copybook after Marshall’s world championship win over her in 2012.

For Marshall however, it’s the chance to cement her legacy, while also providing a platform for the next step in her career with trainer Peter Fury suggesting that should Marshall defeat Shields the next step will be to move up in weight and look to dominate there, too.

But for Marshall, the first step to her dominance is now in place.

A deal has been agreed and the fight will take place. Let the games begin.