Boxing history will be made in London on October 15th as Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall headline an all-female card at the O2 Arena.
The stakes could hardly be higher, with the title of undisputed middleweight champion up for grabs as Shields puts her WBA, WBC, WBF, IBF and The Ring belts on the line in her quest to take Marshall’s WBO throne.
The showdown is the product of a long-simmering rivalry between the pair, who clashed a decade ago at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. That fight went the way of Britain’s Marshall, inflicting on her opponent the only defeat of her career in either the amateur or professional spheres.
And in the lead-up to their London reunion, a war of words has ensued between two fighters with contrasting styles.
Shields, known for taking her contests the full distance, stated in the press that she 'accepts' Marshall's record of ten knockout wins from 12 undefeated bouts, but does not 'respect' them due to the calibre of opposition faced - punters can back the American to win by decision at odds of 6/4.
In the opposite corner, Marshall has vowed not to be intimidated by her opponent, claiming 'it’s her ignorance that will lose her this fight'.
Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall
|Where:||O2 Arena, London|
22:30, Saturday 15th October 2022
|How to watch:||Sky Sports|
Claressa Shields 1/1, Savannah Marshall 4/5
The blockbuster women’s clash will take place on the evening of Saturday 15th October, 2022.
The action will get underway on Saturday at 18:00, with the ring walks for the main event expected at around 22:30, depending on the length of preceding bouts.
The fight takes place at the O2 Arena in London.
Coverage of the event will be available in the UK on Sky Sports.
Yes - every single one. Shields brings her WBA, WBC, WBF, IBF and The Ring belts to the party, while 'Silent Assassin' Marshall is the WBO titlist. The winner will therefore be able to boast the title of undisputed female middleweight world champion.
Despite the host of titles to her name, Michigan native Shields comes into the fight as slight underdog at 1/1, while Hartlepool’s Marshall is 4/5 to take the spoils - and punters can back the home favourite for victory via knockout, technical knockout or disqualification at 11/5.
The 2012 loss to Savannah Marshall in the amateur ranks remains the only blot on Claressa Shields' impressive copybook.
A double Olympic gold medallist having claimed victory in the middleweight stakes at London and Rio de Janeiro, she made her professional boxing debut in 2016 in Nevada, beating current undisputed super-middleweight world champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn by unanimous decision.
Two victories the following year set up a title fight against Nikki Adler, the defending WBC super-middleweight champion, which she claimed via technical knockout in the fifth round.
A unanimous decision victory over Hanna Gabriels in June 2018 saw her add the vacant WBA and inaugural IBF middleweight titles to her hoard.
One win in each of 2019 and 2020 gave her a professional record of 10-0, before she took Marie-Eve Dicaire's IBF belt from her the following March in a hometown fight in Flint.
A first professional contest in the UK followed in February of this year, where another unanimous decision sealed The Ring and WBF middleweight accolades, leaving just Marshall’s WBO belt left to complete the set.
Gold medallist at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in China back in 2012, where she became the only fighter to date to overcome Shields en route, Marshall took an early exit from the 2012 Olympics, but did collect middleweight Commonwealth Gold in Glasgow in 2014.
Her bid for the Olympic title again failed two years later in Brazil, but after signing as a professional under the wing of the legendary Floyd Mayweather, she kicked off a stellar twelve-fight win streak - the last eight of which have come courtesy of a knockout or technical knockout.
The vacant WBO title came her way in a win at the SSE Arena against Hannah Rankin by technical knockout, and she has successfully defended her belt on three occasions.
The standout clash below the headline fight sees Mikaela Mayer take on Alycia Baumgardner in a mouthwatering super-featherweight title contest.
Mayer is yet to taste defeat in 17 professional bouts, winning five by knockout and 12 via a decision, and she defends the WBO IBF and The Ring belts.
Baumgardner, meanwhile, makes the second defence of her WBC and IBO titles as she seeks a seventh successive victory.
Last year's Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price and her bronze-medal counterparts Karriss Artingstall and Caroline Dubois are up against, Timea Belik, Marina Sakharov and Milena Koleva respectively.
A close friend of Mayer's, Ginny Fuchs, an American Olympian who performed well in April on her professional debut with a fourth-round knockout of Jennifer Han, takes on Gemma Ruegg in a flyweight bout.
Also on the card are Ebonie Jones and Spanish featherweight fighter Vanessa Caballero; April Hunter and Argentina's Erica Alvarez; London's Shannon Ryan and another Spaniard, Bucha El Quaissi, as well as young talent Sarah Liegmann and veteran Bec Connolly.