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Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall on ESPN+ in the US

Image: Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall on ESPN+ in the US

Undisputed World Middleweight Championship On The Line When Shields And Savannah Marshall Square Off At The O2, London – On Saturday, September 10th live on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Bitter rivals Claressa “GWOAT” Shields and Savannah “The Silent Assassin” Marshall went face to face and declared their intention to capture the undisputed middleweight world championship on Tuesday as they previewed their long awaited showdown during a press conference in London followed by a virtual press conference for international media.

The most anticipated women’s fight of all time will take place Saturday, September 10 from The O2, London and be available on ESPN+ for audiences in the U.S. Shields will bring the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles into the showdown against Marshall and her WBO strap, in an event promoted by BOXXER and Salita Promotions in association with Hennessy Sports.

Shields will look to avenge the only loss of her storied career, an amateur defeat at the hands of Marshall in 2012, which kicked off the rivalry and war of words that continues to this day.

The co-main event of this historic card is a bout presented in association with Top Rank which will see WBO and IBF world champion Mikaela Mayer and WBC champion Alycia Baumgardner face off in a unification bout in the 130-pound division.

Be first in line to get exclusive access to discounted tickets by joining the waiting list at Boxxer.com. The fight will air live and exclusively in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports and is presented in association with official partners bet365, Everlast, WOW HYDRATE and Village Hotels.

Here is what Shields, Marshall and Salita Promotions President Dmitriy Salita had to say Tuesday:

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“It means a lot to be here. I’m grateful that the UK fans have accepted me, once again, to come out here and fight. Savannah Marshall got lucky in 2012, but she won’t get lucky in 2022. I was 17 and also London was hosting the Olympics and they favored her. I never scored eight points in any of my fights, leading up. And then with the point system, all of a sudden I score eight? I just scored 30 points the day before, as I did every other fight and then, against her, I only scored eight points versus her 14? I was 17. She couldn’t shake me. She didn’t drop me. She couldn’t even get an eight count, but now she’s a knockout puncher?

“The Olympics and the amateurs matter to you. As an amateur, you went 60-16 with zero knockouts. I was 77-1, 19 KOs. You had zero (knockouts). You can’t do anything I can do. You can sit here and talk, but you’re not going to win on September 10.

“I don’t hate nobody, but I do have a huge dislike for her. My grandma told me not to use the word hate, so I don’t use it, but I don’t like her and she’s one of my biggest haters.

“They’re making it out that she’s a big knockout puncher and she’s the only blemish on my record as an amateur and she has the recipe to beat me. My job is to show everybody in the world that she doesn’t and that I reign supreme in three different weight classes for a reason. If she was the one who was really supreme, she would be champion in three different weight classes and not me.

“She’s a slow fighter and that is going to hurt her. Also, she’s tall but doesn’t know how to fight tall. All that inside stuff isn’t going to work against me!

“We are not here, about to fight in front of 80,000, because you‘ve won one belt. I’m the champ. I’m the GWOAT. Nobody knows you. Every time I speak of you, you get bigger. After this, you’re going to have 20,000 more followers because I’m here, not because of anything you’ve done.

“I’m happy that there’s another championship fight on the card, especially the women. Me and Mikaela went to the Olympics and the world championships together, and Alicia lives not even 45 minutes from where I live, so I’m friends with her too. This is one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing. We’re fighting in front of 80,000. We have a great co-main and there will be more women added to the card.

“Salita Promotions has never failed me. When I first met Dmitriy Salita and he asked me what my goals were, I said I want to be world champ in my seventh fight. I was world champ in my fourth fight. I told him I wanted to be undisputed champ against whoever the champion was. I’m like ‘get me the best. I want to fight the best, every fight.’ And he shook his head and said ‘yes, yes yes, we’re going to make it happen’. And after I beat Christina Hammer, I told him I’m not fighting for no less than $350,000, moving forward and he made sure I got $350,000 for those fights after that. In women’s boxing back then.

“Salita Promotions has been great to be with. I just love Dmitriy so much because he’s actually a fighter. We got in the ring and sparred together. To have a promoter who knows what we put ourselves through, he’s always asking me what else he can do and what else do I need? He always makes sure he comes through for me and he comes to visit me every single camp to make sure I’m feeling good and everything. I’m happy to be part of Salita Promotions.”

SAVANNAH MARSHALL

“This fight has been a long time coming, but we are here now and on September 10, I will be the new undisputed middleweight champion of the world.

“I’m a fan of Claressa Shields. What she’s done for the sport is amazing. She’s a pioneer for the sport, but the reality is, she doesn’t beat me. The first time we fought she didn’t perform and she won’t again on September 10. That’s what it is and it kills her. It burns her inside.

“I’ve knocked out people you went 10 rounds with. I’m not just going to beat you. I’m going to hurt you and outbox you. That’s all you need to know. I’m a better fighter. I’ll have all her world titles on September 10.

“It’s amazing, not just for me and Claressa headlining, but also having an amazing fight in Mikaela and Alycia. I think their fight is a headliner on its own. Sharing the night with them two will be unbelievable.

“I win this fight through heart and my boxing brain. On September 10, I will become the champion of the world. And that will be the end of her rubbish. See you on September 10, babe.

“I believe I’m a better fighter than Claressa Shields. I’m more skilled than Claressa. I believe I’m more determined.”

DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions

“This fight has literally been a year in the making, and for us on the team, years in the making, so I’m very happy that we’re here. Claressa is not only known as the GWOAT because she’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist, multi-time amateur boxing world champion, three-division professional world champion and a two-division undisputed world champion, but because of what she’s doing right here. She’s traveling thousands of miles away from her hometown to avenge the only loss of her career when she was 17 years old. The rivalry could have been forgotten about, but she is the GWOAT.

“The boxing fans in the UK are phenomenal. I know they will appreciate Claressa’s aim and goal to be the best and to challenge herself and to get out of her comfort zone of the United States and to come out here and avenge that only loss.

“I really believe that Claressa Shields is a generational athlete who, 20 years from now, will be mentioned along with the greatest athletes like Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Pele… the greatest athletes who transcended their sport.

“I believe the reason Savannah is here and the reason many women are getting the respect they deserve is because of the success of Claressa Shields.

“As a little kid, before women’s boxing was a business, Claressa made a choice to go to the gym and strive to be the best. As a kid, to have that dream and to accomplish it and be sitting here now, is really incredible. Claressa Shields is not only an American hero, she’s a hero for the world. She has done a lot for not only women’s sports, but women’s rights too and I am very grateful and honored to be part of this incredible journey.

“This is the buildup of a very high-level championship fight. There is such a rivalry between them for fans to get behind. This event is not only a great sporting event, it’s a great cultural event. It’s going to be a fantastic night of boxing on September 10.”

CLARESSA SHIELDS

On her mindset during training…

“I just want to be better than yesterday. That’s all it’s ever been for me. I’m already better than (Marshall). I already have big accomplishments, gold medals, the wins and everything. It’s not really about her. Yes, she’s a good fighter and everything, and she holds one belt, but I hold 12. I don’t think about her when I’m training. Yes, we have a gameplan for (Marshall), but I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday.”

On the loss to Marshall in the amateurs…

“I only lost in the amateurs in boxing. I’ve never lost in professional boxing. I’m undefeated. I lost to her 10 years ago in the amateurs by six points. It was 14-8. But that really doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve been able to be successful after that. On the other hand, you’ve got (Marshall) who lost every tournament she was in after our fight, and in those same tournaments I won gold.

“So having one loss in the amateurs and being able to turn pro and do everything that I’ve done since, I don’t really care about (that loss). But I think it’s a great story and storyline, and I guess we’ve got history. She doesn’t like me. I don’t like her, and I’m looking forward to fighting in six weeks.”

On being a model and mentor to younger women and athletes…

“I know that I have a big impact on the city of Flint and Michigan, and just throughout the U.S. for all the Black girls and girls who want to box. And I do take pride in it. That’s why I carry myself the way that I do. That’s why I continue to be confident. People have tried to force me to quiet down, and find a happy medium, and be nice to my opponents, and don’t trash talk, but it’s boxing.

“I’m very passionate about the sport and I love trash talking. I love the build-up to fights. And I’m officially a millionaire. I can do what I want, and I don’t have to follow all these rules that they put on women. So I just want to show the younger girls coming up to just be you.

“As far as helping the kids of Flint, I don’t know where I’d be without boxing. So me giving back with the Shields Community Outreach nonprofit is very heartwarming for me. I’ve met over 100 to 150 kids over the last few weeks and been able to teach them, spend time with them and mold them. You get to see people who didn’t have confidence gain confidence and see a future in themselves. I’m just happy that their parents give me the opportunity to do that.”

On training in both Michigan and Florida…

“I’ve been in training camp here in Michigan for five weeks already. I usually do six weeks of camp. But for this camp, since it’s so important and she’s such a big puncher, we’re going to put in an extra five weeks for (Marshall).

“I like training in Florida. It’s hot. I don’t have any distractions, like family and friends and stuff like that. That’s just where I do all my training camps. I’ve never done a full camp here in Flint.”

On the emotions ahead of September 10…

“Marshall has been quiet since the press conference. She was quiet during our sit together. I was thinking she would have more energy and more spite. But when we were face-to-face she tucked her tail, and that just showed me right there that she didn’t want this fight. She knows she’s not going to win this fight. I saw her do an interview where she had a black eye. So they’ve been trying to put her through all kinds of stuff in sparring to make sure she’s ready. But the truth is she’s lightyears behind me.”

On the strength of Shields’ professional opposition compared to Marshall’s…

“Marshall has fought a whole bunch of tomato cans. She might be 12-0 with 10 knockouts, but if you go and look at her record, the majority of those girls had losing records. You’re supposed to knock them out on three days’ notice, or a week’s notice.”

On the value of her previous experience in undisputed fights…

“When we get inside the ring, she hasn’t done this before. She hasn’t fought for an undisputed championship. This will be my third time. So people love to build it up and trash talk, but she’s going to want to talk trash in the ring, and I’m just setting that to the side and focused on training to be better, faster, stronger, sharper and smarter. I think she knows that and that she’s in for a tough fight.”

DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions

On making the deal for Shields vs. Marshall…

“Claressa’s goal has always been to prove that she’s the greatest female boxer of this generation. She’s been doing this so far in her career. I’m surprised that the oddsmakers see Claressa as the underdog, but she has been proving the odds wrong her whole life, from growing up in Flint, to becoming two-time Olympic gold medalist, to being the face of women’s boxing and taking this sport to the next level.”

On how he sees the fight playing out inside the ring…

“I think the same thing will happen that happened when Claressa fought Christina Hammer. People thought it was going to be a tough, challenging fight, but they say pressure makes diamonds and I believe that Claressa is a great, great athlete and that situation is only going to make her step up to that next level and bring out her true potential. I believe she’ll raise her performance to the next level and outlast Savannah Marshall.”

On the significance of Shields vs. Marshall…

“This is a big event and a big fight, and I really believe that this is quite a significant cultural event as well. We’ve seen a tremendous media turnout here today, which is great. Not only is it great for this fight, but it also shows the return and growth of boxing and Claressa is big part of it.”

On Marshall’s strengths…

“She’s a good boxer. She’s getting better with each fight. She has good footwork, good power, a good jab. I believe that she’s a good, solid fighter. But as Roger Mayweather used to say, there are levels to this. And I believe Claressa is on a different level. Savannah is a good fighter. We respect her for stepping up to the plate. But great fighters like Claressa make good fighters like Savannah look subpar, and that’s what I think will happen on September 10.”

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