Why Claressa Shields – Savannah Marshall is a Fight That Must Happen
One of the biggest fights in women’s boxing is a showdown between undisputed junior middleweight champion Claressa Shields (11-0, 2 KOs) and WBO World middleweight champion Savannah Marshall (10-8, 8 KOs). The two ladies have a history going back to their amateur days when Marshall handed Shields her only defeat. For years they have exchanged words about facing each other in the professional ranks. Marshall insists if it ever happened, she would smash Shields up.
Never one to back down in a boxing ring or on social media, Shields begs to differ. During an interview with 3KingsBoxing affiliate Pep Talk UK, the 26-year-old from Flint, Michigan clapped back with a stingy assessment of her rival.
“Savannah Marshall hasn’t accomplished shit, but she uses my name to build her resume. All she keeps saying is, ‘I beat Claressa Shields, I beat Claressa Shields’. What else have you done? You went to both Olympics but didn’t medal. You went to world championships but didn’t medal since 2012. I had a Gold medal in all of those tournaments.
She uses the fact that she beat me before I won any of those medals and she is riding off of it.
Savannah Marshall is not going to be hard for me to beat. I’m actually going to beat her worse than I beat Christina Hammer. They’re similar fighters. Savannah Marshall has declined in her skills since we fought when I was 17-years-old and I’ve gotten so much better, so much faster, so much stronger. So, just to hear her say some of the things she says, I just kind of laugh it off. Saying I’m avoiding her, I’m scared of her, whatever floats her boat.”
HER BIGGEST THREAT
There’s a reason that Sheids calls herself the GWOAT (Greatest Woman Of All-Time). Along with being the current undisputed world champion at 154 pounds, she previously was the women’s world undisputed champion at 160 pounds. Shields also won a world title at 168 pounds. Her accomplishments are immense as she is the face of women’s boxing.
However, if there’s anyone from 154-168 who stands a good chance of defeating her, it’s Savannah Marshall. The 30-year-old from Hartlepool, England brings a pretty loaded tool chest to the table. At 5’11 ½” she’s over three inches taller than Shields and is one of the more difficult styles to solve. In many ways, she fights like a middleweight women’s version of Tyson Fury.
With her height, long and gangly arms, and high skillset, the Brit is outstanding at keeping her opponents at bay then teeing off with combinations to the head and body. So far, ladies have found it very difficult to get inside of her condor-like reach. When her opponents do happen to get on the inside, the WBO champ is excellent at using her arms to cover up.
Here is the difference between her and Hammer. Marshall is more consistent and elusive in terms of upper-body movement. Also, she hits a lot harder. Shields is correct to say believe she’s a faster and more athletic fighter. However, in terms of size, strength, and especially punching power, the advantage goes to Marshall.
All of this is fodder and food for boxing heads at this point. Unfortunately, the fight has not happened, which is disappointing to all fans. What seems to be preventing it from happening is money.
Currently, Shields is preparing for the second of a two-fight MMA deal. She plans to continue boxing. Once she gets back into the sport on a full-time basis, that includes a fight against Marshall. That’s her biggest fight and most dangerous battle. For legacy’s sake, it’s a fight that must take place.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.