Claressa Shields is prepared to run it back with Savannah Marshall, though with some say on who gets to host the sequel.
England’s Marshall confirmed to Sky Sports that she has activated a rematch clause. The move was executed two months after their memorable October 15 undisputed middleweight championship clash won by Shields via unanimous decision at The O2 in London.
Neither a date nor location is yet established, though Marshall is hopeful of another home game.
“I’ve activated the rematch clause. I know Sky and Boxxer are really keen on getting the fight at St James’ Park,” revealed Marshall, sporting a Newcastle Brown Ale jersey.
St. James’ Park is the home to the Premier League’s Newcastle United Football Club. Hartepool’s Marshall (12-1, 10KOs) has ties to city, which is less than an hour from her hometown and where she has fought three times in five bouts prior to her summit meeting with Shields (13-0, 2KOs). All three appearances were made at Newcastle Arena, including a highlight reel third-round knockout of Femke Hermans on April 2 to defend her WBO middleweight title.
Marshall lost the belt to Shields, who reclaimed the trinket while defending her lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF middleweight crown in what was her second straight fight in the UK. There will not be a hat trick, if the fighting pride of Flint, Michigan gets her way.
“Fight won’t be in the UK but yes, I accept her challenge,” Shields confirmed on Saturday.
Shields has done nothing but make history during her boxing lifetime. The 27-year-old is the only American boxer in history to win two Olympic Gold medals on an international scale, and has claimed undisputed championship status three times spanning two weight divisions through just 13 pro fights.
The win over Marshall was the closest of Shields’ storied career to date. Marshall is confident of improving upon that performance, though Shields is as dismissive of her chances as she is of once again traveling abroad.
“[I don’t know] why she think she can outbox me,” Shields stated. “She can’t box, just a big power puncher. And Sky Sports and Boxxer, we are not fighting in the UK. I whooped her!
“It’s time for her to get her traveling boots on and come to the USA. That’s the only way the rematch is going to get made.”
Shields’ last fight in the US took place in her Flint hometown last March 5, when she won a ten-round shutout over then-unbeaten Mari Eve Dicarie to fully unify the 154-pound division. The win ran her record to 11-0 (2KOs), including eight title fight victories and all of her bouts having taken place stateside before traveling abroad for her past two starts.
Shields soundly defeated unbeaten Ema Kozin by scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards on February 5 in Cardiff before defeating Marshall. Shields made two separate trips to the UK for the Marshall fight, which was delayed by five weeks due to the untimely passing of Queen Elizabeth II preceding their planned September 10 clash in London.
Marshall’s lone fight outside the UK came in her August 2017 pro debut, which took place in Las Vegas. The bout was on the undercard of the final sanctioned pro fight in the Hall of Fame career of Floyd Mayweather, whose Mayweather Promotions signed the two-time Great Britain Olympian at the time. Marshall eventually broke away from Mayweather, making her way back to the UK which has hosted her past twelve fights.
Shields’ competitive but clear win over Marshall came more than ten years after their meeting during the preliminary rounds of the 2012 World Amateur Championships. Marshall won their amateur fight over a 17-year-old Shields before going on to win the tournament outright. Both made their way to the 2012 London Olympics, with Marshall suffering a loss in the quarterfinals. Shields ran the tables for the first of her two consecutive Olympic Gold medals.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox