Habazin: “I Was Ready In October! I Am More Ready This Time!”

Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin January 10 LIVE on Showtime @ 9:00 PM ET

Ivana Habazin and Claressa Shields
Ivana Habazin (left) and Claressa Shields.

Ivana Habazin using difficult camp as motivation! 

When it all boils down, Ivana Habazin’s (20-3, 7 KO’s) January 11 title fight with unified middleweight champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (9-0, 2 KO’s) is about as bad blood as it gets. Shields feels offended by Habazin bad mouthing her and claiming that she didn’t make weight in their last attempted bout.

Habazin finds Shields to be classless and blames her for the attack on her coach former coach James Bahir Ali. So when they collide at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey this event will be equal parts grudge match and prizefight.


For Habazin, her back is truly against the wall. There is no denying that Shields has the far greater amateur background and professional dance schedule. When she matriculated into the professional ranks T-Rex was already a star and poised to achieve success.

So far she has lived up to this potential with gusto. This is also largely why most have flung Habazin’s chances at winning into the “no hoper” bin. It certainly didn’t help that her longtime coach would not be available to her as he is still recovering from his vicious attack last October.

She gives an update on Bashir’s status in an interview with FightHype.

“He prepared with me all the time and it’s crazy to go fight without your coach. Especially when something like this happens. He is doing better. He is still not recovered, he is waiting for one more surgery and that won’t be for a couple of months, but he is still not good.

To add another layer of adversity, Habazin found herself training back in her native Croatia. On the one hand it’s good to be back home around friends and family. At the same time, however, those very same friends and family can prove to be a mighty big distraction. Unfortunately, it sounds as if there was a fair bit of disturbance present within this last camp.

“It wasn’t easy because when I’m home it’s a lot of distractions. But it was good my step-mother is sick, she has the cancer you know, so I was helping her. When I was out, for example, it was more easier because I was far away and when we are so close you need to help your family.

“But I made it, I feel good and that is one motivation for me.”


Regardless of the less than ideal conditions surrounding her camp and the mountain of accolades that are bestowed upon Shields, Habazin is determined to claim victory. In fact, when she surveys the overall landscape of women’s boxing she does not even consider T-Rex to be a pound-for-pound competitor.

Proceeding with this fundamental lack of respect she is aiming to slide in the ring and forcefully derail the Shields party train. Going a step further than verbalizing a win for herself, the Croatian pugilist has repeatedly stated that she will be gunning for the knockout.

A win for Habazin would unquestionably be one of the biggest upsets in recent times.

“Even for October I was ready, but this time I think I am much more ready.”

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari Simpson 1087 Articles
Bakari is a writer and contributor for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.