Four Olympians appear in separate bouts as part of an historic all-female boxing event.
The full undercard has been revealed for the already announced September 10 blockbuster show on Sky Sports from The O2 in London. The supporting cast includes 2020 Olympic Gold medalist Lauren Price, 2020 Olympic Bronze medalist Karriss Artingstall and Caroline Dubois—all of whom fought for Great Britain last summer in Tokyo—as well 2020 U.S. Olympian Ginny Fuchs.
Opponents for all were confirmed Tuesday, along with five more preliminary bouts preceding a championship doubleheader. Lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF middleweight champion Claressa Shields (12-0, 2KOs) and WBO titlist Savannah Marshall (12-0, 10KOs) collide in their long-awaited grudge match for the undisputed middleweight championship in the headliner, while Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner meet for the lineael/WBC/IBF/WBO junior lightweight crown in the co-main event.
“We’re proud to announce these three Team GB Olympic heroines joining us to make boxing history on 10th September," noted Ben Shalom, CEO and founder of BOXXER who presents the historic all-female card. "Thanks to an incredible summer of the Lionesses celebrating Euro glory and the success of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham there’s a massive feelgood factor around women’s sport and now it’s professional boxing’s time to shine.
"We couldn’t be any prouder to put on this historic show at The O2.”
Wales' Price (1-0, 0KOs) will face Hungary's Timea Belik (6-6, 2KOs), returning to the ring three months after her June 11 pro debut. Joining the 28-year-old gifted welterweight southpaw is her partner, as Artingstall—who turned pro two weeks later on June 25—will face France’s experienced campaigner Marina Sakharov (5-16-2, 3 KOs) in a featherweight bout.
Joining Price and Artingstall is their Olympic teammate in Dubois, the most seasoned of the trio in the pro ranks. Dubois (3-0, 2KOs)—whose older brother Daniel is a secondary WBA heavyweight titleholder—fights for the fourth time as a pro, as she meets Bulgaria's Milena Koleva in a scheduled six-round lightweight bout.
“Caroline was incredible in Bournemouth and is clearly destined to reach the top," pointed out Shalom. "But this fight against Milena Koleva will be a tough step up for her against an opponent who pushed Katie Taylor to the limit. I also can’t wait to see Lauren and Karriss in action on the same night. Both have exciting futures and I know they will be keen to steal the limelight with impressive performances.
Houston's Fuchs (1-0, 1KO) joins longtime close friend Mayer for the second time in as many pro fights. The former amateur standout enjoyed a successful pro debut with a fourth-round knockout on the April 9 undercard of Mayer's ten-round win over Jennifer Han. Fuchs will now cross the Atlantic to face Gemma Ruegg (5-4, 1KOs) in a flyweight contest.
Also on the show: Portsmouth’s Ebonie Jones (2-0-1) faces Spain's Vanesa Caballero (4-15-3) in a featherweight battle; April Hunter (5-1) faces Argentina’s Erica Alvarez (3-6); London's Shannon Ryan (2-0) meets Spain’s Bucha El Quaissi (3-2-3, 1 KO) in a junior bantamweight bout; promising junior featherweight prospect Sarah Leigmann (4-0, 1 KO) squares off with battle tested veteran Bec Connolly (3-15-0); and junior middleweight prospect Georgia O’Connor (2-0) appears against an opponent to be determined.
“This truly is history in the making," vowed Adam Smith, head of boxing development at Sky Sports. "And adding three super talented and hugely popular Olympians to the mix makes it even better. Caroline has shown why she will be a prospect to be feared, especially with her brilliant display recently in Bournemouth.
“And both Lauren and Karriss are destined for very bright futures - Olympic 2020 medalists and now two of the brightest prospects in British boxing and emerging onto the professional circuit in an era when women's sport is ascending to its rightful place alongside the men's game and inspiring a whole new generation of female athletes. I cannot wait to watch all three in action for what will be an unmissable evening at The O2.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox