Habazin on Shields: She is not “The GWOAT”; Ann Wolfe beats her a**

Claressa Shields(10-0, 2 KOs) made more history on Friday night when she became the unified 154-pound champion after defeating Ivana Habazin(20-4, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision at Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City.

With the victory, Shields became the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

Shields and Habazin were scheduled to fight on October 5 in Flint, Mich. The bout was called off less than 36 hours from the opening bell following an altercation at the official weigh-in that resulted in an injury to Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir. This is the third date for Shields and Habazin. They were first scheduled to meet on August 17 before Shields withdrew due to a minor knee injury.

The undisputed middleweight champion had no issues with Habazin on Friday night. The self-proclaimed “GWOAT”(The Greatest Woman of All-Time) had a lot of success going to the body of Habazin, and in round 6, Habazin took a knee after sustained work to the body from Shields. The fight was never close, and the judges scored the fight 100-89, 100-90, and 99-89, all for the two-time Olympic gold medalist.

While Shields calls herself “The GWOAT,” Habazin has her doubts.

“For me, like I said, she is not “The GWOAT,” Habazin said at the post-fight press conference. “Right now, she is good, but Ann Wolfe, I’m sure she would beat her ass.”

Shields may or may not be “The GWOAT,” but she continues to make history. Habazin was tough, but she did not have enough speed or power to win this fight.

What’s next for Shields? She was supposed to fight Alicia Napoleon Espinosa in the spring, but Napoleon Espinosa lost to Elin Cederroos, so maybe Cederroos could be next for Shields. However, after her victory over Napoleon Espinosa, Cederroos did not seem very interested in fighting Shields next. So, what Shields does next will be interesting, especially since she is flirting with the idea of going to the UFC.

Regarding Ann Wolfe, obviously, that would have been a great fight. Wolfe was something special. She was ruthless in the ring and had one-punch knockout power, so a fight against Shields would have been a lot of fun.

For now, Shields is a great fighter, and if she continues to win, well, maybe we will all call her “The GWOAT” when it’s all said and done.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Shields on Habazin: ‘I’m going to put down a whole different beat down on her’

Undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields(9-0, 2 KOs) has accomplished so much in such little time. In only nine fights, Shields has all four major belts at 160(WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO), and on January 10, Shields looks to make even more history when she battles Ivana Habazin(20-3, 7 KOs), for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound titles.

The 24-year-old Shields is seeking to become the fastest fighter in boxing history, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

For the Flint, Michigan native, not only does she have to battle Habazin, but she also has to battle the scale. As a pro, Shields has not fought below 160, which makes fighting Habazin even more challenging, but according to Shields, she will be just fine. 

“I made 154 pounds back in October before the cancellation,” said Shields. “After our fight was canceled, I stayed active and only put on about 10 pounds. I’ve been down in Florida for the last six or seven weeks. It’s been hard work. I’ve pushed myself, and I’m not taking Habazin lightly. I want the knockout because Ivana talks too much. I’m staying focused on being focused and not letting anyone throw me off by talking nonsense.

“I don’t eat meat anymore. I haven’t in over three months, so my body is more toned now. I actually have a six-pack already with just a little more weight to lose. I think people are going to be surprised at the 154-pound version of me. I’m going to be very strong and very fast because I’ve basically had five months to prepare and to get ready for her specifically.”

There has been a lot of talking on both sides, and that trash talk has motivated Shields.

“No matter what she says, this beat down was coming in October,” said Shields. “All I’m doing is bringing it to Atlantic City. I’m going to knock her out. I’m going to put down a whole different beat down on her because of the level of disrespect she has shown me. I’m not going to let her be disrespectful towards me, and I’m going to knock her out to shut her up.”

Habazin is very tough, but if Shields fights the way she is capable of fighting, this could be an early night for the self-proclaimed “GWOAT.” Look for Shields to make more history on January 10.

Shields-Habazin set for January 10 in Atlantic City

The long-awaited showdown between undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former champion Ivana Habazin has been rescheduled for Friday, January 10 live on SHOWTIME from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Shields and Habazin will face off for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound world titles as Shields attempts to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

Shields and Habazin were scheduled to fight on October 5 in Flint, Mich. The bout was called off less than 36 hours from the opening bell following an altercation at the official weigh-in that resulted in an injury to Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir. This is the third date for Shields and Habazin. They were first scheduled to meet on August 17 before Shields withdrew due to a minor knee injury.

The January 10 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a WBA Super Lightweight World Title Eliminator between Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs) and Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs). The winner becomes the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Lightweight World Championship currently held by Mario Barrios.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. Ergashev vs. Hunter is promoted in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. Ticket information for the live event will be announced next week.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over previously undefeated world champion Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, the two-division titlist joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list). On January 10, Shields will seek to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Kosei Tanaka, who both accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“My goal is to become three-division champ faster than any man or woman in history,” Shields said.  “This is a very significant fight for both of us. We have both trained really hard twice and great opportunities await the winner, so hopefully three times is the charm.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 30-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

Habazin will train in her native Croatia and has dedicated the fight to Bashir.

“I’ve been thinking about this since October and I have more of an incentive now given what happened,” Habazin said. “I feel like I’m fighting for James Ali Bashir, as well as for my own pride and respect. I’m also fighting for my country. I want to make Croatia proud that I am their daughter, and I feel that I now have their full support. Claressa is just a brief stop on my journey. I have bigger dreams and bigger shoes to fill in my life. I’m on my way to fulfilling my personal legend – being crowned the undisputed women’s junior middleweight champion. This is just another step on that journey. Given my faith, I feel that while what happened in October was incredibly unfortunate, this was God’s plan.  And I have faith that my hand will be raised in victory in January.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017.  Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest.  She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

Hard-hitting super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs), of Uzbekistan, is ranked in the top-15 in three of the four major sanctioning bodies.  The 27-year-old Ergashev is coming off an impressive fourth round knockout of veteran Abdiel Ramirez this past August on ShoBox: The New Generation.  In his previous appearances on the prospect developmental series, the former member of the Uzbek national team scored a third round knockout against then top-10 rated Sonny Fredrickson, and a 10-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Mykal Fox.  The hard-hitting southpaw currently trains in Detroit with Javan “Sugar” Hill at the new Kronk Gym with stablemate Vladimir Shishkin.

“My goal is to be the junior welterweight champion of the world in 2020,” Ergashev said.  “After I win this fight I will be just one step away from realizing my dream of bringing the world title home to my country Uzbekistan.”

The 27-year-old Hunter is ranked No. 12 in the WBA.  A native of Las Vegas, the 6-foot Hunter will make his national television debut against the first undefeated opponent of his career.  Hunter, who is the younger brother of former Olympian Michael Hunter, trains at Bones Adams Gym in Las Vegas and is co-managed by former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.

“I’m looking forward to making my national television debut on Showtime,” said Keith “The Bounty” Hunter. “Boxing is in my blood and January 10 will be my chance to take my career to the next level. Ergashev has a bounty on his head, I’m here to collect!”

Shields: ‘I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before’

Unified middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin showed off their skills at a media workout Wednesday before they go toe-to-toe this Saturday night in a showdown for the WBO and WBC 154-pound world titles live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Mich.

 Joining them at the media workout were fighters competing in non-televised attractions Saturday including local super flyweight contenders Ja’Rico O’Quinn and James Smith, who will fight for the WBO International title, and Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, who steps in against Erin Toughill in a super welterweight attraction.

 After her portion of the media workout, Shields, who fights in her hometown of Flint for the first time as a pro on Saturday, spent time with kids who participate in the gym’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) program for Detroit students ages 8-18. The gym currently serves over 170 students with mentorship and training programs.

 Here is what Claressa Shields had to say:

 “It hasn’t really hit me yet that I’m actually fighting in Flint. Once everything happens at the press conference I think it will actually hit me. I hope that this fight shows people in Flint that no matter what we go through, Flint comes out on top.

“Habazin has a good record and is ranked highly, so I know what she presents. I trained for nine weeks not to lose weight, but to be prepared for a tough match. I trained to come here and get the knockout. It should be a great fight come Saturday.

“I’ve been fighting for 13 years and I’ve never missed weight once. If you have a fight at a certain weight class, you come on weight. That’s just protocol. You do what you have to do. I’m still drinking my water and eating. I’m not starving myself to make weight.

“It’s important every time to look better than my last fight. That’s just my mentality so that I keep myself from doing too much but also doing enough. I looked superb in my last fight. I showed people that I’m a complete fighter. I can’t show less than that on Saturday. To me, that means I have to get the knockout.

“I know that I’m faster at 154-pounds. It’s been a big jump for this one. I’m Roy Jones Jr. fast for this one. I can drop my hands, throw punches and land them from any angle. This weight is beneficial for body. It fits me well.

“I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before, but it’s not where it needs to be yet. I think that my performances are getting better and better and everything I do outside of boxing is helping to build me up as well.

“I just want to get better every fight. I want to make sure that I show even more of everything that I did against Hammer. That’s been my mentality since the amateurs.”

 

Claressa Shields is hoping to make history on October 5 against Habazin

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields’ attempt at history has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME. Shields will aim to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion when she takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT) from Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

 The vacant WBC Women’s Diamond Super Welterweight Championship will also be on the line in Shields’ first professional fight in her hometown.

 The homecoming fight was initially scheduled for August 17 and postponed in June after Shields suffered a minor injury to her right knee while doing roadwork.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event go on sale today/Tuesday, August 6 at 2 p.m. ET and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division titlist who became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, she joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list).

Now, the Flint star seeks to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“I’m more excited than ever. I’m 100 percent recovered, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring and fight in front of my hometown fans in Flint as undisputed champion of the world,” said Shields. “Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make October 5 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step in history, and giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 29-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

“It’s an honor and a dream to fight in the U.S. on national television,” Habazin said. “A lot of fighters never get this opportunity in their careers so I know I need to make the most of it. I’ve been training for this fight since June and the postponement has only given me more time to get ready. I intend to put my best effort forward to impress the fans and show that I am for real. 

“I am not just coming to fight for a world title, I am fighting for my life and my career. I believe I am the best and now I got the chance to prove that, and there is no better opponent for that than Claressa Shields.”

 Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics. 

The undercard for the telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Claressa Shields aiming to become a three-division world champion

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields will aim to make history by becoming the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion when she takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin Saturday, August 17 live on SHOWTIME.

The showdown for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title headlines a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast at 9 p.m. ET/PT from Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Mich. The vacant WBC Women’s Diamond Super Welterweight Championship will also be on the line in Shields’ first professional fight in her hometown.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division titlist who became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, she joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list).

Now, the Flint star seeks to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin on August 17, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“It’s hard to even put into words how excited I am to be returning home as undisputed champion and fighting in front of all my fans in Flint,” said Shields. “And having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make August 17 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 29-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

“I’m honored to fight on SHOWTIME and to be making my debut in the U.S.,” said Habazin. “It’s a dream come true and this is a huge chance for me to prove that I am one of boxing’s elite fighters. I will not let this opportunity pass. I’m not just coming to the U.S. to fight, I’m coming for victory.

“I’m actually a big fan of Claressa. She made history for women’s boxing and will be a great opponent for me. She’s very confident in herself, she’s aggressive, she can move, she has speed and good defense. But I have all of this too, and I can punch. I can’t wait to see what she is made of. They said her fight against Hammer was the biggest of all time, but I think this one will be the greatest ever.”

“I am delighted to promote another historic event featuring Claressa Shields, who strives to make history at a record-setting pace when she challenges herself to go down in weight to win a third division title against a very skilled and motivated fighter in Ivana Habazin,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Fans attending the fight at the Dort Center in Flint, as well as those watching the fight live on SHOWTIME, will be treated to another historic and exciting night of boxing featuring Shields.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.