Unbeaten contender Ema Kozin has worked her way into position as the mandatory challenger for WBC/WBA/IBF Middleweight World Champion Claressa “G.W.O.A.T.” Shields and she will look to earn a historic win for her native Slovenia when she challenges Shields on Saturday, February 5 from Cardiff, Wales and available live on pay-per-view in the U.S. and Canada.
“This win would be historic for myself and for my country,” said Kozin. “Claressa certainly has a good reputation and is one of the greatest female boxers out there, but I don’t feel any pressure because of who she is. I see it as a huge opportunity and not as some kind of burden.”
The 23-year-old Kozin has worked her way up the rankings earning 10-round unanimous decision victories over former world title challengers Maria Lindberg and Chris Namus. Most recently, Kozin stopped Radana Knezevic in two rounds in May 2021 as she awaited this showdown with Shields.
“I have been preparing specifically for this fight for more than half a year and I’ve made a lot of progress as a fighter,” said Kozin. “I’m feeling ready, excited and eager to show everything I’ve learned in this ring.”
Kozin will be looking to spoil Shields’ U.K. debut as a professional on February 5, which would not only make her a world champion, but would derail Shields’ plan for a lucrative matchup in her next fight against WBO Middleweight Champion Savannah Marshall. The 5-8 southpaw hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to leave her impression on fans watching fight night.
“The boxing fans can expect a good fight,” said Kozin. “I’m going to go in there and make this interesting for everyone watching. I will give everything I have like I always do and show the world how tough a fighter I am.”
As she nears this career-defining bout, Kozin gives credit to her team, led by head trainer and manager Rudolf Pavlin, for giving her every advantage and resource needed to be at her best when she duels Shields.
“I have a great team behind me, from my trainer to my technique coach to my strength coach,” said Kozin. “We have put a lot of emphasis on my regeneration, so I have been going weekly to do the hyperbaric chamber, cryotherapy and bioresonance. It’s important for me to feel good so that I can give 100% when I train. I’ve also been on weight for more than a month now, so I can eat normally, and I don’t need to worry about losing weight before the fight.”