Savannah Marshall thinks Claressa Shields will walk away from boxing after their historic undisputed clash at the O2 Arena this weekend.
The longtime rivals face off on Saturday as they dominate Britain’s first-ever all-women’s card, some 10 years after Marshall inflicted the one and only defeat of Shields’ career in their Championship clash. amateur world 2012.
Marshall brings her WBO middleweight belt to the table, while two-time Olympian and undisputed two-weight champion Shields puts her WBC, WBA and IBF belts on the line in one of the most anticipated shows of the year.
Savannah Marshall (right) and Claressa Shields (left) face off on Saturday night
Marshall insists she will send Shields to retirement after their historic undisputed clash
Not only will there be a drastic clash of styles in the ring, but the two fighters offer a stark contrast in personalities, with Marshall more reserved and composed and Shields more brash and abrasive.
Marshall insists she’s under Shields’ skin in the build-up to the fight, believing the American is still haunted by her amateur loss to the Hartletpool fighter.
“You can see it,” Marshall told Sportsmail. “I lost a lot of times as an amateur; ask me about any of them and I probably wouldn’t even remember them.
‘Ask her, and she goes from zero to 100 and steam starts coming out of her ears. It’s pretty well documented that I struck a chord.
“You have to wonder why you haven’t had therapy, because 10 years is a long time.”
Marshall is the only boxer to defeat Shields, as an amateur since 2012
Shields bounced back to win gold medals at the 2012 (left) and 2016 (right) Olympics
After making history by winning back-to-back Olympic titles, Shields has continued to shine as the undisputed champion in two separate weight classes since turning pro.
The ‘GWOAT’, as the American calls herself, has also taken part in two MMA fights, winning one and losing the other, and is expected to return to the Octagon shortly after the clash. of Saturday evening.
Marshall, who like Shields remains undefeated as a professional at 12-0, however plans to be the American’s last opponent in the squared circle.
“I personally think we’ll never see her in a boxing ring again,” she said of Shields’ next move, should Marshall fulfill his promise and emerge victorious once again.
Still, any thoughts of the Hartlepool fighter overlooking Shields should be quickly forgotten.
A heavy-handed Marshall stopped 10 of his 12 opponents, including the last eight in a row
Hartlepool fighter insists she expects career best performance from Shields, however
Although she has won eight straight wins by stoppage, with 10 of her 12 fights ending before the final bell, Marshall believes this one goes the distance.
“I expect the best version of Claressa Shields I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I expect 10 difficult, tough and grueling rounds, and I will be disappointed if I don’t get it.
“She’s quick and I think what she’s been doing has worked for her for a long, long time. But it won’t work against me.
For Marshall, a showdown against Shields is as important as it gets, and the 31-year-old insists she would gladly accept a rematch if the opportunity arises – Sportsmail were told in July that the two fighters will be able to activate a rematch. clause with defeat. .
For Marshall, a showdown against Shields is also a welcome escape from what has been a tough time, with the nearly six-foot fighter frustrated with the lack of options available at the higher weights.
Marshall insists she left no room for nerves as she prepares for the opportunity of a lifetime
But above all, for Marshall, although she is heading for the biggest night of her career by far, there are no nerves, only eager anticipation.
“I worked for this moment for a long, long time,” she said. ‘All those years of thinking, “When am I going to get my chance? Why can’t I box that girl?” and the fights fail.
“Even during Covid I remember opponents testing positive, Peter [Fury, her coach] positive test – I just felt like I was constantly swimming against the current. I was thinking, “God, when am I going to get my break?” And that’s all.
Marshall continued: “All these years of waiting and wanting to be in this position, I leave no room for nerves. It’s the excitement.
“I’ve been sitting on the shelf, fighting to get this fight. I was offered a fight against Claressa in my third fight.
‘Peter said, “You can take it if you want, but what would you take it for, 10,000,000? Let’s build it right, you get a belt, she gets a belt, fight a few neutral opponents and it’ll be massive.” And watch it now.
“It couldn’t have been plotted better for me, so why should I be nervous?”