WBC, WBA, IBF and The Ring middleweight champion Claressa Shields has dismissed the idea that WBO counterpart Savannah Marshall will be her toughest challenge yet. Speaking to The Sportsman ahead of their 10th September showdown, ‘The GWOAT’ listed previous opponents that she has found to be superior to ‘The Silent Assassin’.
“I don’t think she’s the best fighter I’ve fought against in my career,” Shields said before adding, “I’ve fought against all girls who were either the champion, number two or former champions.” While Marshall’s WBO belt puts her firmly in that category, dual-sport superstar Shields still doesn’t think her upcoming opponent is the best boxer she’s faced.
“The best fighter I’ve fought against skill-wise… I’ve been so much better than all of them,” the two-weight undisputed champion said, underlining the confidence that has taken her to the top of her profession. Shields did hand out props to two previous opponents though. “I want to say Ivana Habazin. She had some great skill. But the hardest puncher I’ve fought against is Franchon Crews. She was very, very sturdy, tough and just had a really big, wicked punch.”
It is perhaps surprising to hear Shields does not rate Marshall higher considering she is the only fighter to beat ‘The GWOAT’ in either the amateur or professional ranks. Their amateur bout in 2012 is still a bone of contention between the pair. On the Top Rank media call, Shields gave her side of the story.
“The judges only say that I scored eight points versus her 14. I don't know how that happened because I know for sure every fight, we all know that I'm gonna throw more punches than my opponent. I'm gonna stalk my opponent. She said that she out-boxed me but she really ran and she held.”
“She beat me eight points to 14 where she didn't hurt me. I wasn't bruised up after the fight. I didn't have any cuts. It was a fight that I lost but I just remember feeling that I had won the fight because I watched the fight over and over and over again. And I just couldn't understand how my points weren't being counted. But I knew that I would do better. And in the Olympics I did.”
Shields will get the chance to avenge the one and only defeat of her illustrious career this September. The card also features a superb match-up between Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner for the unified super featherweight championship.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change