Undisputed World Middleweight Championship On The Line When Shields And Savannah Marshall Square Off At The O2, London – On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT LIVE on ESPN+
After ten years of tension, the time for talking is over – Claressa ‘GWOAT’ Shields and Savannah ‘The Silent Assassin’ Marshall officially made weight today for their long-awaited contest atop tomorrow night’s BOXXER LEGACY: Shields vs Marshall card.
The fight – for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world – headlines the event and brings a decade-long rivalry to the boil for what is the biggest fight in the history of female boxing.
Things are no less heated between the co-headline competitors: Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner had to be separated at today’s weigh-ins when they faced off for photos after making weight.
Having exchanged increasingly strong words for weeks, things boiled over today: as the things began to turn physical during the face-off, security stepped in to separate the pair. Mayer swung a kick at Baumgardner in the process, prompting an angry reaction from the Baumgardner team.
BOXXER LEGACY: SHIELDS vs MARSHALL – Official Weigh In Results
Georgia O’Connor 10st 9 lbs 5oz (149.3 lbs)
Joyce Van Ee 10st 12 lbs (152 lbs)
Ebonie Jones 8st 12 lbs (124 lbs)
Jasmina Nad 8st 8 lbs (120 lbs)
SAVANNAH ‘THE SILENT ASSASSIN’ MARSHALL
WBO World Middleweight Champion
“It’s every fighter’s dream to be headlining with world titles on the line. It’s the pinnacle of our sport. And this fight with Claressa feels like this was always meant to be. So I’m excited and can’t wait to step through those ropes on Saturday night
“In recent years we’ve seen huge strides in women’s sport – especially in those sports that normally are dominated by men. And in the same year the Lionesses win the Euros, I’m happy to be part of this historic night for women’s boxing.
“But the great thing about this event is that it isn’t special just because it’s an all-female show. This is a great boxing card full stop. Even the supporting fight between Mikaela and Alycia is a headline act in itself. People are taking notice of this because the quality speaks for itself. This isn’t a gimmick. The fighters on this card are here purely on merit.
“I do see it growing in popularity, yes. Think about how far women’s boxing has come along in the short period it’s been given support? With continued backing you can only imagine what it’ll reach in 10 years time. A quick look at MMA will show you how far women can go in the sport and demand respect alongside their male peers. I don’t see any reason why the same can’t be done in boxing.
“It feels great to top this historic card and I think I’ve earned that right. I think if I wasn’t as great as I am, the opportunity would not have presented itself for me – or for her.
“Even though she’s the home fighter and everyone here is talking about her, I am the one with all the accomplishments. I’ve won twelve world titles, she’s won one. I won two Olympic gold medals, she’s won none.
“It’s a huge night for women’s boxing and I think if we stay on the road we are on now, it will reach equality with men’s boxing in my lifetime.
“Saturday night I will come out victorious like I always do, I hope the fans have a great time and I hope every fight on the card is great. I hope we make the national news all over the world, whether the fight ends in the first round or the final round.”
“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.
“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.”
“This fight has been a long time coming, but we are here now, 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. 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.
“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 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 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…
“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.”