Shields Declares Earlier Fight Unfair, Ahead of Savannah Marshall Rematch

Shields Declares Earlier Fight Unfair, Ahead of Savannah Marshall Rematch

Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London brings a historic boxing line-up, with an all-women’s card ahead of the headline match between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall.

Shields and Savannah Marshall are fighting for the title of undisputed middleweight champion, with the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBF, the Ring and WBO belts all on the line. Ahead of the fight, affairs have taken a fiery turn, with Shields declaring that their earlier amateur fight, which Savannah Marshall won, was unfair and she should have won it.

We look at how this storyline has unfolded, and preview fight odds ahead of Saturday night’s big clash.

Shields Speaks Out About Previous Fight

Only one woman has ever defeated Claressa Shields, across either her amateur or professional career.

And that’s Savannah Marshall.

Ten years ago, when the two were both fighting as amateurs, the women squared off against each other, with Savannah Marshall walking away the victor by way of decision.

Now, Shields has had this to say about the 2012 fight,

“I had a lot against me. I feel like I fought against her, I fought against the judges, I fought against the ref. It wasn’t to me a fair fight. After the first time that we fought I felt I won. I knew that if I ever faced her again, I would beat her.”

Such a bold statement has certainly increased the tension ahead of Saturday’s fight, with it clear there’s unresolved business between two of the world’s best female middleweights. Shields is confident in her ability to walk away with a different result on the weekend, however, stating,

“There’s no trying to it. I’ll get it done,” Shields said. “I just know that I put in the hard work, and I earned the right to be here. Anybody who feels any different… Then I don’t think you’re a real boxing fan.”

Odds Against Shields Despite Confidence

Regardless of the bold statements coming from the mouth of Claressa Shields, the bookies aren’t convinced she’s going to win this one.

Most online bookmakers have Claressa Shields at -105, while Savannah Marshall is slightly more favored on a Moneyline of -125.

Both women head into this fight with unbeaten professional records of 12-0-0, though Claressa Shields does have more belts on the line. However, Savannah Marshall has the psychological edge, having won their previous encounter, and is also fighting in front of a home crowd in London.

Breaking Down the Fight

Shields heads into this bout off the back of a unanimous decision against Ema Kozin in early 2022, having also defeated Marie Eve Dicaire last year.

Savannah Marshall, on the other hand, comes into this match having knocked out her last two opponents, ending Femke Hermans courtesy of a left hook earlier this year, and stopping Lolita Muzeya in 2021 too.

For Shields, her path to victory revolves around her speed and jab. She will be wanting to close the distance to score points, outbox her opponent and avoid taking damage, and win this one through a decision. With a four-inch reach disadvantage and less power than her opponent, Shields will have to rely on her skill and speed to get the job done.

Marshall’s game plan will be more simple—get in, and knock her opponent out. She’s done this in 10 of her previous 12 fights and will be eager to do so again. Her left hook is a weapon, as is her reach and size. Working with Tyson Fury’s uncle as a trainer, expect Marshall to come out well equipped to find gaps in Shield’s armor and punish her for it.

Whether Shields on points, or Marshall by knockout, this will be an entertaining fight and a celebration of women’s boxing.

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