Claressa Shields Puts Ivana Habazin On Notice!
Well, when it comes to the dramatic Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (9-0, 2 KO’s) v Ivana Habazin (20-3, 7 KO’s) saga, it appears the gloves are all the way off!
From the word “go”, the two females were anything but bosom buddies. Habazin believed that not only could she beat T-Rex, she also viewed Shields as a trespasser in her super welterweight division.
Despite being the unified middleweight champion, Shields had elected to drop down to super welterweight in hopes of luring undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus (35-0, 9KO) to the division.
PROFESSIONAL JUST TURNED PERSONAL
Habazin wasn’t fazed by T-Rex’s titles, gold medals nor her media presence. The determined Croatian simply set her mind on defeating the Flint, Michigan native in style.
However, their feud was turned-up a notch when Shields pulled out of the original date due to injury. Habazin doubted Shields claim and called her a liar via social media.
After a brief interlude, Shields healed her ailing knee and the prizefight was quickly rescheduled. Everything appeared to be a go.
That was until the two teams arrived to the official weigh-ins and Habazin’s chief second, James Bashir Ali, was violently attacked.
Ali was clobbered from the blindside, plunged into unconsciousness and rushed to the hospital. The chaotic scene concluded with the rescheduled fight being canceled.
Shortly after the bout was assigned a third fight date, T-Rex got wind of Habazin calling her a ‘thug’. The two division unified champion took to mocking her opponent before ultimately saying what is going to happen to her come January
“’Oh, now my coach had got sucker punched and now I’m here,’ Shields mocks Habazin
“Okay, alright, cool. But just know I don’t give a damn about none of that. As soon as you get in the ring I’m whooping yo ass!”
CROSSING THE LINE
Naturally, the middleweight champion did not take lightly to it. For Shields, the remark held too many racial undertones for her to overlook. While getting her hair braided, Shields took to social media to tell Habazin about herself as well as present a grim promise.
This most recent insult by the Croatian proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. In her mind, Shields felt as though up to this point she had been respectful and professional.
Even in the wake of the bum-rush that Coach Ali suffered, T-Rex did nothing but condemn the attack and pray for his recovery.
Having been depicted as some grimy street hooligan, a cord was struck within Shields. For her, the prizefight was no longer simply about winning a professional match. Now it was about hurting and mauling Habazin as much as physically possible.
Shields would like to venture off into some Ali, “say my name” rugged territory. When it’s no longer simply a victory but a beating, or when the lesson to “learn you better” is more satisfying than the paycheck. At the same time, Habazin is in a real “you tore up my master” kung-fu theater frame of mind.
At the weigh-ins, Habazin sobbed and screamed for help as she crouched down and cradled the head of her bleeding and unresponsive coach.
There is no telling what sort of motivation was born in those frightening moments. So while Shields is fighting due to what she has described as a racial fueled slight, Habazin is fighting for revenge.
This should make for one spectacle of a prizefight!
“For you to try to come over here and basically say that I’m a thug, all because what happened? Naw, naw, no, no, no, no! Your fucking coach was a thug!
“Because I wasn’t sitting there calling your coach no bitches. I wasn’t calling him no monkeys, none of that. I told him actually to calm down.
“So now she pointing the finger, her and her team with this statement and all this BS. Man listen, she getting her ass whooped!
“And I don’t care who she show up the fight to fight for. You can show up to fight for Bashir, you could show up the fight to fight for your family, you can show up to the fight just because you think I’m a terrible person.
“Listen, whatever your reason to fight, you getting yo ass beat. Come with every reason you want!”
By: Bakari Simpson