FLINT – Claressa Shields isn’t taking any chances when it comes to avenging the only loss of her boxing career.
Shields, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Flint, is unbeaten in 12 professional fights and has won world championships in multiple divisions but she suffered one loss as an amateur and it was against her next opponent.
Savannah Marshall of England outpointed Shields 10 years ago in a 2012 AIBA Women’s World Championship preliminary bout and that was the only setback in Shields’ 65-fight amateur career.
She’s been waiting to avenge it ever since and will finally get the opportunity Sept. 10 at the O2 in London.
Shields (12-0-0, 2 KOs) and Marshall (12-0-0, 10 KOs) will be fighting for the undisputed women’s world middleweight championship. Shields already owns the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight belts while Marshall is the WBO champion.
Shields has been trained in both Michigan and Florida to prepare for the bout.
“I’ve been in training camp here in Michigan for five weeks already,” she said this week during a media appearance in Detroit. “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.”
Shields hasn’t fought since recording a unanimous decision over Ema Kozin Feb. 5 in England.
Marshall, who was ringside and pretended to fall asleep during the fight, told Shields afterward she’d “wipe the floor” with her if she fought her the way she fought Kozin.
“Guess what? You couldn’t wipe my drawers!” Shields yelled. “Do you hear me? You can’t do (bleep) with me. I ain’t not punk.”
Shields said she’s not bothered by the loss to Marshall
“I’ve never lost in professional boxing,” she said. “I’m undefeated. I lost her 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.”
Shields’ goal is to keep moving forward rather than looking back.
“I just want to be better than yesterday,” she said. “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 game plan for (Marshall), but I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday.”
The bout with Marshall will mark the 10th consecutive title fight for Shields. For Marshall, it will be her fifth straight title fight from her.
Marshall’s professional opponents include Borislava Goranova (11-55-4), Klaudia Vigh (3-25-1), Ester Konecna (16-1) while half of Shields’ fights have been against unbeaten boxers.
Her last three fights were against unbeaten champions.
“Marshall has fought a whole bunch of tomato cans,” Shields said. “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.
“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 light years behind me.”
The fight will be televised live on ESPN+.
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