Bitter rivals Claressa “GWOAT” Shields and Savannah “The Silent Assassin” Marshall went face to face and declared their intention to capture the undisputed middleweight world championship on Tuesday as they previewed their long awaited showdown during a press conference in London followed by a virtual press conference for international media.
The most anticipated women’s fight of all time will take place Saturday, September 10 from The O2, London and be available on ESPN+ for audiences in the U.S. Shields will bring the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles into the showdown against Marshall and her WBO strap.
Shields will look to avenge the only loss of her storied career, an amateur defeat at the hands of Marshall in 2012, which kicked off the rivalry and war of words that continues to this day.
The co-main event of this historic card is a bout presented in association with Top Rank which will see WBO and IBF world champion Mikaela Mayer and WBC champion Alycia Baumgardner face off in a unification bout in the 130-pound division.
Here is what Shields and Marshall had to say.
“It means a lot to be here. I’m grateful that the UK fans have accepted me, once again, to come out here and fight. Savannah Marshall got lucky in 2012, but she won’t get lucky in 2022. I was 17 and also London was hosting the Olympics and they favored her. I never scored eight points in any of my fights, leading up. And then with the point system, all of a sudden I score eight? I just scored 30 points the day before, as I did every other fight and then, against her, I only scored eight points versus her 14? I was 17. She couldn’t shake me. She didn’t drop me. She couldn’t even get an eight count, but now she’s a knockout puncher?
“The Olympics and the amateurs matter to you. As an amateur, you went 60-16 with zero knockouts. I was 77-1, 19 KOs. You had zero (knockouts). You can’t do anything I can do. You can sit here and talk, but you’re not going to win on September 10.
“I don’t hate nobody, but I do have a huge dislike for her. My grandma told me not to use the word hate, so I don’t use it, but I don’t like her and she’s one of my biggest haters.
“They’re making it out that she’s a big knockout puncher and she’s the only blemish on my record as an amateur and she has the recipe to beat me. My job is to show everybody in the world that she doesn’t and that I reign supreme in three different weight classes for a reason. If she was the one who was really supreme, she would be champion in three different weight classes and not me.
“She’s a slow fighter and that is going to hurt her. Also, she’s tall but doesn’t know how to fight tall. All that inside stuff isn’t going to work against me!
“We are not here, about to fight in front of 80,000, because you‘ve won one belt. I’m the champ. I’m the GWOAT. Nobody knows you. Every time I speak of you, you get bigger. After this, you’re going to have 20,000 more followers because I’m here, not because of anything you’ve done.
“I’m happy that there’s another championship fight on the card, especially the women. Me and Mikaela went to the Olympics and the world championships together, and Alicia lives not even 45 minutes from where I live, so I’m friends with her too. This is one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing. We’re fighting in front of 80,000. We have a great co-main and there will be more women added to the card.
“This fight has been a long time coming, but we are here now and on September 10, I will be the new undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
“I’m a fan of Claressa Shields. What she’s done for the sport is amazing. She’s a pioneer for the sport, but the reality is, she doesn’t beat me. The first time we fought she didn’t perform and she won’t again on September 10. That’s what it is and it kills her. It burns her inside.
“I’ve knocked out people you went 10 rounds with. I’m not just going to beat you. I’m going to hurt you and outbox you. That’s all you need to know. I’m a better fighter. I’ll have all her world titles on September 10.
“It’s amazing, not just for me and Claressa headlining, but also having an amazing fight in Mikaela and Alycia. I think their fight is a headliner on its own. Sharing the night with them two will be unbelievable.
“I win this fight through heart and my boxing brain. On September 10, I will become the champion of the world. And that will be the end of her rubbish. See you on September 10, babe.
“I believe I’m a better fighter than Claressa Shields. I’m more skilled than Claressa. I believe I’m more determined.”