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Preview: Shields vs. Marshall & Mayer vs. Baumgardner tonight on ESPN

Image: Preview: Shields vs. Marshall & Mayer vs. Baumgardner tonight on ESPN

By Sam Volz: IBF, WBA & WBC women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields weighed in at 159.3 lbs on Friday for his undisputed clash against WBO champ Savannah Marshall for Saturday’s fight at the O2 Arena in London, England. Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs) weighed in at 159.3 lbs.

The card will be shown live on ESPN+ at 2:30 p.m. ET and 11:30 a.m. PT.

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Shields, 27, has the speed & the volume punching ability to defeat the bigger punching Marshall. If Marshall can land one of her big shots, she could stop Shields, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

The 31-year-old Marshall is too slow and will get beaten to the punch all night.

In the co-feature weights, IBF & WBO world super featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer (17-0, 5 KOs) weighed in at 129.1 lbs for her 10 round clash against IBO & WBC champion Alycia Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KOs). Baumgardner, 27, weighed in at 129.1 lbs.

Other weights on the card:

  • Lauren Price 145.5 lbs vs. Timea Belik 145 lbs
  • Caroline Dubois 137 lbs vs. Milena Koleva 136.5 lbs
  • Karriss Artingstall 125.5 lbs vs. Marina Sakharov 124.5 lbs

“Yeah, it is, and she’s been here before, to be fair to her. This is the third time she’s fought for an undisputed title. So the experience of this occasion is very much on her side,” said Gareth A. Davies to talkSPORT Boxing about Claressa ‘T-Rex’ Shields about her fight against Savannah Marshall this Saturday night.

“She’s carried it all week. She’s responded to the cat-calls from all of Savannah Marshall’s fans around the event all week. Obviously, it’s been delayed five weeks because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II from September the 10th.

“It’s felt really big this week. There are 11 women’s fights on this card. Headlined, of course, by Shields and Marshall. I make Shields the marginal favorite.

“She’ll probably get hit harder by Savannah than she’s ever been hit, but I think Savannah is going to get hit more than she’s ever been hit in her dozen fights in her career.

“They’re both undefeated in a dozen fights. It’s a phenomenal prospect; it’s a brilliant advert for women’s boxing. I’m told the O2 Arena is sold out.

“We’ve got Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner for three of the super lightweight belts on the line. It’s going to be a terrific night.

“I think it is in some ways,” said Davies when asked if Shields vs. Marshall is bigger than Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano. “I think that had a lot of heat under it, and they garnered a lot of help from DAZN and Matchroom and Eddie Hearn over in the United States.

“They put it on. I was there, and I covered it live. It was an amazing night in a terrific 20-minute fight with ten, two-minute rounds. It felt like it should have been 12 rounds.

“Yeah, I think it is as big. This rivalry goes back ten years. Claressa has only been beaten in an amateur and pro fights by Savannah in 2012 in the world amateur championships in China, where Savannah went on to be world #1 and win the gold medal and didn’t win the Olympics later in the year.

“Claressa won and obviously, as you say, an Olympian twice as a gold medalist. There’s so much on the line for these two women and the fact that it’s been delayed five weeks. They must be itching to get into the ring, and we felt that about them all week

“They carried themselves well through those extra five weeks. They had a bit of a rest. Both of them went back in sparring. I think it’s Shield’s fight to lose because she is elusive, Marshall is a big power puncher, but it’s a pick ’em. It’s a true pick ’em fight, and these two women belong with Serrano and Taylor at the very top of the sport.

“Alycia Baumgardner is a real power puncher. We saw that when she knocked out Terri Harper from Doncaster in a terrific fight last year. Baumgardner is a super athlete.

“Mayer has a brilliant amateur pedigree. It’s all about whether Mayer can keep Baumgarder under control with her reach and height advantage and with her boxing skills and not get drawn into a dogfight.

“I will tell you that Baumgardner has got under Mayer’s skin this week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they go hell for leather in the early rounds here and really do get into a dog fight. If so, I make Baumgardner the favorite.

“Oh, I don’t really know,” said Davies when asked about the kind of money Mayer & Baumgardner will be getting for their fight. “I do know that Claressa Shields signed a multiple-fight deal with BOXXER and Sky for definitely a seven-figure sum.

“I imagine they’ll be earning in the hundreds of thousands for this. They obviously deserve parity, but they also should be moved up to 12, two minute rounds, not 10, two minute rounds, because these fights fly by.

“They’ll be earning very well from this,” said Davies.

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