Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields face-off as undisputed middleweight showdown is set

Hartlepool fighter Savannah Marshall will finally get to square off with long-time rival Claressa Shields when the pair meet for the undisputed middleweight championship in September, it has been confirmed.

By Joe Ramage
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:28 pm
Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields will clash in September. Picture by Martin Swinney.
Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields will clash in September. Picture by Martin Swinney.

Marshall and Shields faced off with one another at the much-anticipated press conference in London in which boxing promotion Boxxer revealed the two middleweight champions will headline an historic night at The O2 on Saturday, September 10.

The card will be an all-women’s promotion, the first of its kind, including Mikaela Mayer’s unified super-featherweight clash with Alycia Baumgardnerwith, with one of the most heated rivalries in the sport coming to a head for its conclusion.

Marshall and Shields have been intertwined for a decade since the Hartlepool fighter became the only woman to defeat Shields throughout her entire career as either an amateur or a professional in 2012.

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Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields will meet for the first time in 10 years. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

To the American’s credit however, she did not let that defeat as a 17-year-old blot her copybook having gone on to win two world championships and two Olympic Gold medals since, as well as becoming the first undisputed champion across two weight classes in 2021 when beating Marie-Eve Dicaire in the spring of last year.

But Marshall has forged her own path towards the top of the sport with a number of eye-catching knockout victories, including her latest triumph over Belgian Femke Hermans in Newcastle back in April.

Marshall’s devastating third round stoppage over Hermans cleared the final hurdle which separated the two rivals, with the fight originally planned for July before 31-year-old Marshall was forced to have surgery on an injury to her arm.

But the mega-fight is now on following a period of negotiations as to where the bout would be held, with London winning out over Marshall’s native North East.

The pair have confronted one another a number of times over the past 12 months, including after Marshall’s win over Hermans in Newcastle, and they did so again in front of the cameras at the official fight press conference.

“This fight has been a long, long time coming but we’re here now and on September 10 I’ll become the new undisputed champion of the world,” said Marshall.

“I’m a fan of Claressa Shields. What she’s done for the sport is amazing. She’s a pioneer for the sport.

“But the reality is she doesn't beat me. She didn’t before and she wont again and it kills her. It absolutely burns inside.”

Marshall went on to claim “I’m not just going to beat you, I'm going to outbox you. I’m going to hurt you and I'm going to outbox you,” because “I’m a better fighter.”

Shields believes the fight represents an opportunity to avenge that only loss on her record from 10 years ago and prove to the world she is worthy of the ‘Greatest Woman Of All Time’ tag she cites herself as.

Savannah Marshall got lucky in 2012, she won't get lucky in 2022,” said the American.

“I don't hate anybody but I really do have a huge dislike for her. I don’t like her.

“They’re saying she's a big knockout puncher, she’s the only blemish on my record as an amateur and she has the recipe to beat me, so my job is to show everybody in the world that she doesn't and that I don’t reign supreme in three different weight classes for no reason.”

Marshall and Shields will top the bill at the O2 in which Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom has claimed will be a landmark moment for women’s boxing.

“It’s incredible. This has to be the biggest story in women’s boxing,” said Shalom.

“All sports need the greatest rivalries. You see it with Nadal and Federer, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, and now for women’s boxing we have Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields.

“It’s going to be the biggest night in women’s boxing history.”