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Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall: Undisputed middleweight fight announced for 10 September in London

BBC News – Sports RSS Feed – World News
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Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields argue at ringside

Briton Savannah Marshall will challenge Claressa Shields for the undisputed middleweight championship at the O2 Arena in London on 10 September.

Marshall holds the WBO title, while American Shields is the WBC, IBF, WBA and Ring magazine champion.

Like Shields, Marshall is undefeated in 12 pro fights, but has 10 knockouts.

In the first all-female card to be hosted in the United Kingdom, Mikaela Mayer will face Alycia Baumgardner in a super-featherweight unification clash.

Mayer is the WBO and IBF champion, while fellow American Baumgardner holds the WBC belt.

A fight 10 years in the making

The undisputed clash between Marshall and Shields is a fight 10 years in the making.

“All sports need major rivalries to transcend their boundaries and this is the biggest rivalry ever to come from women’s boxing,” Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom said.

The fight was delayed in May because of an injury in Marshall and will now go ahead in London rather than the original planned location of Newcastle.

Shields’ only defeat in her entire boxing career was against Marshall as an amateur when they were both preparing for the 2012 Olympics – a Games at which Shields would win a gold medal and Marshall would bow out at the quarter-final stage.

The duo never fought again in the ring but have sparred together on occasion. Both fighters have their own version of how those sparring sessions went, but the defeat to Marshall when she was 17 has been a constant sore spot for Shields.

The American has developed into a wonderful fighter since, winning world titles at multiple weights and became the first boxer – male or female – to hold two undisputed championships in two weight divisions at the same time.

She is a two-time Olympic champion and returns to fight in London for the first time since winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Marshall’s career at amateur level never reached the heights it promised, but the Hartlepool’s pro career has gone from strength to strength in the last two years.

She is being billed as one of the biggest punchers in women’s boxing with 10 knockouts and will be aiming to secure her ninth stoppage in a row when she faces Shields.

A historic night for women’s boxing

Alycia Baumgardner and Mikaela Mayer

The Mayer-Baumgardner contest is one whereby the winner could set up an undisputed clash against South Korea’s WBA title-holder Hyun Mi Choi.

Mayer, who has won all 17 professional bouts, is a 2016 Rio Olympian who won the WBO belt in October 2020. Eight months later, she added the IBF and Ring Magazine straps by defeating Argentine Erica Fari.

Baumgardner, who has won 13 and lost one, defeated Doncaster’s Terri Harper to claim the WBC super-featherweight title in November last year and has made one defence of the belt.

More to follow.

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