Boxing superstar Claressa “G.W.O.A.T.” Shields, boxing’s only two-division undisputed world champion, held a media workout in Detroit on Tuesday as she nears her WBC/WBA/IBF middleweight world championship defense against #1 ranked challenger Ema Kozin taking place Saturday, February 5 live on pay-per-view in the U.S. and Canada.
(Photro credit: Salita Promotions)
Shields will be making her U.K. debut as a professional, entering the ring as the co-main event from Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in Wales, with star U.K. middleweights Chris Eubank Jr. and Liam Williams meeting in the main event.
Guided by Salita Promotions, Shields signed a lucrative multi-fight deal with promoter Boxxer and broadcaster SKY Sports in the U.K. that has put her on the path toward a super-fight showdown with WBO Middleweight Champion Savannah Marshall in 2022.
The pay-per-view telecast will begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT and can be purchased through the recently-launched PPV.com streaming platform from iNDEMAND, FITE.TV and will be carried in North America across all cable, satellite, and telco PPV platforms. On TV, boxing fans can order the event through Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Fios, and Optimum, among others (U.S.), as well as leading operators in Canada. Complete PPV distribution details can be found below.
Here is what Shields, and her promoter Dmitriy Salita, had to say on Tuesday from Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit:
“The boxing world has forgotten who the best female fighter is since I’ve been doing MMA. The other girls like Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor have been showcasing some great skills, but I’m planning to showcase even better skills in my fight on February 5.
“I hope Savannah Marshall shows up at the fight. She can jump up in the ring after I win and talk some stuff. But talking doesn’t win fights, training does. She’s going to see a great performance, and I’m going to prove that I haven’t been running from her. We’ve been chasing her.
“When you fight in a different country, you have to do your research on a lot of things and start doing things differently. We’re going to train in Las Vegas for a week so that I can get used to the altitude in Cardiff.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and showcasing my skills. In my last fight, I was coming off over a year layoff, and I didn’t perform how I wanted to. When I watch back the film, I wasn’t sharp. I didn’t have the speed and the timing that I usually have.
“I feel like I have to dominate in every fight. Not only am I in her territory, but I have the mentality that everyone wants me to lose. That’s why I go out and smash these girls and make them hold on for dear life.
“This is my first time fighting in another country professionally, but I’ve fought in at least ten different countries already. I won gold medals in London and in Rio. I’ve been everywhere.
“She’s got a lot of pro experience. I like it. I’ve already dethroned fighters with a lot of experience anyway. I give her credit for working her way up from the bottom to become my mandatory. I’m going to show her that she hasn’t fought anyone like me.”
DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions
“It was great to see Claressa and her longtime coach John David Jackson putting in the work and looking sharp at Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit today. This place is a light for the Detroit boxing community, just like Claressa is. She grew up in nearby Flint, one of the most challenging places in the world and has become one of the best fighters in our sport, and is doing things no one has done before.
“This fight on February 5 is leading toward the biggest women’s boxing match of all time between Claressa and Savannah Marshall. It was great to have media support both locally and nationally today, and looking forward to a great night on February 5.
“Claressa has fought in sold-out venues here in Michigan, and now she’s going overseas, but fans in Michigan and throughout the U.S. and Canada will be able to see her on pay-per-view. It’s a perfect opportunity for sports fans to continue to follow Claressa on her journey of greatness.
“Claressa is going to be up against a very tough, skilled, and undefeated number one contender in Ema Kozin. She’s young and hungry, and she’s going to bring the very best to the table. It’s a very stern test for Claressa before she gets in there with Marshall.”
EMA KOZIN TRAINING CAMP QUOTES
Unbeaten Top-Rated Challenger Ema Kozin Faces WBC/WBA/IBF Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields Saturday February 5 Available in U.S. Live on PPV Via FITE.TV, PPV.com & Cable, Satellite & Telco PPV Providers
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.”