Claressa Shields scoffed at Savannah Marshall’s prediction.
Shields’ rival has stated that she’ll quickly knock out the three-division champion once they finally fight as professionals. The undefeated Shields promised that Marshall will have difficulty laying a glove on her, forget knocking her out.
“She said she can knock me out in less than two rounds, so I can’t wait to see it,” Shields told BoxingScene.com. “Savannah Marshall’s not even gonna be able to hit me, let alone knock me down, knock me out, hurt me. It’s gonna be a boxing session. She’s gonna get the works. It’s gonna be like an amateur versus a pro, to be honest with you.”
Marshall defeated Shields when they were amateurs and remains the only woman to have beaten the two-time Olympic gold medalist in an amateur or pro boxing match. Their rematch – which will take place 10 years after Marshall beat her, 14-8, in the AIBA Women’s World Championships in May 2012 – should be scheduled for either late in the spring or early in the summer if Shields defeats Ema Kozin on Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales, and Marshall overcomes an opponent to be determined whenever her hand injury is healed enough for her to fight again.
“I think her injury is [lasting] longer than she thought it was supposed to go,” Shields said. “So, I know she has to fight against someone. And then, when she wins her fight, and after I win [against Kozin], then we’re gonna face each other. But I don’t know if she’ll be back in the ring fighting in March or April. And [when we fight] really depends on when she’s back in the ring. Because if she fights in March, me and her will face off in May. But if she fights later, we’ll fight in June. So, it all depends on her timing with her hand injury and stuff.”
England’s Marshall (11-0, 9 KOs), who owns the WBO middleweight title, is expected to sit ringside for the 26-year-old Shields’ IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight title fight versus Kozin (21-0-1, 11 KOs), a Slovenian southpaw. The 30-year-old Marshall’s injury delay hasn’t concerned Shields (11-0, 2 KOs), a Flint, Michigan, native who remains certain that her rival will box her after shedding some ring rust against what figures to be an unimposing opponent.
“I think that it’s gonna happen like I said in May, June or July – me and Savannah Marshall in the UK,” Shields said. “I believe that it definitely will happen and I want it to happen. That’s the only reason why I even signed with Sky Sports and BOXXER.”
Sky Sports will televise Shields-Kozin as its co-feature in the United Kingdom and Ireland before a 12-round middleweight main event in which England’s Chris Eubank Jr. (31-2, 23 KOs) will square off with Wales’ Liam Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs). FITE.TV will stream those two fights and a portion of the undercard on a pay-per-view basis outside of the UK and Ireland ($29.99 in the United States).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.