By Vince Dwriter: Whenever it’s time to promote a big boxing match, some things that aren’t pure can’t be manufactured. If you pair up two fighters that share a common dislike for each other, it could be a key factor that will help build up the anticipation for the fight and persuade boxing fans to tune in.
The upcoming clash between Flint, Michigan native Claressa Shields (12-0, 2 KOs) and Hartlepool, England’s Savannah Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs), is uncut promotional gold due to the fact that both fighters really don’t like each other.
The Shields-Marshall history goes back to their amateur days in 2012 when they met in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Quinhuangdao, China. At the time, Marshall was 20 years of age, and Shields was an undefeated 17-year-old prodigy. Marshall would go on to pull off the upset as she won the match by outpointing Shields 14-8.
Ten years later, their paths will cross on September 10 at the 02 Arena in London, England. The bad blood between the two boxers has reached the boiling point. When both boxers are in the same room, it’s painfully obvious that disapproval exists. Shields and Marshall have gone on record to publicly state their dislike for each other. On multiple occasions, Shields has labeled Marshall as a pure ‘hater,’ and Savannah Marshall has consistently voiced her opinion in regards to her opponent Shields, being a ‘bully with a bad attitude.’
The upcoming middleweight unification bout between Shields and Marshall has the potential to be an instant classic. Shields will enter the bout as the reigning WBA, WBC, and IBF champion, while Marshall will step into the ring as the WBO titlist, a belt she has held since 2020. The match is a classic boxer versus puncher type of bout, and the stakes are high as winner takes all.
A quick glance at the tale of the tape and it shows the height and reach advantages are in favor of Savannah Marshall as she stands at a height of 5″11, and Claressa Shields is 5″8. Marshall is a ring technician who has a good jab, and she is capable of routinely switching from orthodox to southpaw. Shields has a good jab, great hand speed, and she’s also an excellent counterpuncher. Shields’s path to victory is head movement, lateral movement, and using her speed advantage by boxing and keeping the match in the center of the ring.
A key factor that has become a popular talking point in most conversations in regards to this match is Savannah Marshall’s punching power. Marshall is a devastating puncher as she has successfully knocked out ten of her twelve opponents.’
Shields is not worried or intimidated by Marshall’s punching power, and she addressed it during an interview with Seconds Out. “She fought a whole bunch of tomato cans, and she’s 12 and 0 with ten knockouts, but if you go on and look at her record, the majority of those girls had losing records, and you supposed to knock them out, on a three days notice or a weeks notice. You supposed to knock out girls like that.”