Boxing superstar Claressa “G.W.O.A.T.” Shields held a media workout in Detroit on Wednesday to preview her upcoming undisputed middleweight world championship showdown against longtime rival Savannah Marshall.
Shields vs. Marshall will take place on 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 amateur career and end a long war of words with Marshall that has reached a boil in recent years and which stems from Marshall’s points victory over Shields in a 2012 amateur bout.
Here is what Shields had to saw Wednesday from Downtown Boxing Gym:
Photo: Adam J. Dewey / Salita Promotions
On her mindset during training…
“I just want to be better than yesterday. That’s all it’s ever been for me. I’m already better than (Marshall). I already have big accomplishments, gold medals, the wins and everything. It’s not really about her. Yes, she’s a good fighter and everything, and she holds one belt, but I hold 12. I don’t think about her when I’m training. Yes, we have a gameplan for (Marshall), but I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday.”
On the loss to Marshall in the amateurs…
“I only lost in the amateurs in boxing. I’ve never lost in professional boxing. I’m undefeated. I lost to her 10 years ago in the amateurs by six points. It was 14-8. But that really doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve been able to be successful after that. On the other hand, you’ve got (Marshall) who lost every tournament she was in after our fight, and in those same tournaments I won gold.
“So having one loss in the amateurs and being able to turn pro and do everything that I’ve done since, I don’t really care about (that loss). But I think it’s a great story and storyline, and I guess we’ve got history. She doesn’t like me. I don’t like her, and I’m looking forward to fighting in six weeks.”
On being a model and mentor to younger women and athletes…
“I know that I have a big impact on the city of Flint and Michigan, and just throughout the U.S. for all the Black girls and girls who want to box. And I do take pride in it. That’s why I carry myself the way that I do. That’s why I continue to be confident. People have tried to force me to quiet down, and find a happy medium, and be nice to my opponents, and don’t trash talk, but it’s boxing.
“I’m very passionate about the sport and I love trash talking. I love the build-up to fights. And I’m officially a millionaire. I can do what I want, and I don’t have to follow all these rules that they put on women. So I just want to show the younger girls coming up to just be you.
“As far as helping the kids of Flint, I don’t know where I’d be without boxing. So me giving back with the Shields Community Outreach nonprofit is very heartwarming for me. I’ve met over 100 to 150 kids over the last few weeks and been able to teach them, spend time with them and mold them. You get to see people who didn’t have confidence gain confidence and see a future in themselves. I’m just happy that their parents give me the opportunity to do that.”
On training in both Michigan and Florida…
“I’ve been in training camp here in Michigan for five weeks already. I usually do six weeks of camp. But for this camp, since it’s so important and she’s such a big puncher, we’re going to put in an extra five weeks for (Marshall).
“I like training in Florida. It’s hot. I don’t have any distractions, like family and friends and stuff like that. That’s just where I do all my training camps. I’ve never done a full camp here in Flint.”
On the emotions ahead of September 10…
“Marshall has been quiet since the press conference. She was quiet during our sit together. I was thinking she would have more energy and more spite. But when we were face-to-face she tucked her tail, and that just showed me right there that she didn’t want this fight. She knows she’s not going to win this fight. I saw her do an interview where she had a black eye. So they’ve been trying to put her through all kinds of stuff in sparring to make sure she’s ready. But the truth is she’s lightyears behind me.”
On the strength of Shields’ professional opposition compared to Marshall’s…
“Marshall has fought a whole bunch of tomato cans. She might be 12-0 with 10 knockouts, but if you go and look at her record, the majority of those girls had losing records. You’re supposed to knock them out on three days’ notice, or a week’s notice.”
On the value of her previous experience in undisputed fights…
“When we get inside the ring, she hasn’t done this before. She hasn’t fought for an undisputed championship. This will be my third time. So people love to build it up and trash talk, but she’s going to want to talk trash in the ring, and I’m just setting that to the side and focused on training to be better, faster, stronger, sharper and smarter. I think she knows that and that she’s in for a tough fight.”