Shields for “mega” battle with British rivals?
Claressa Shields definitely wants to fight Savannah Marshall in a “mega-event” after a fiery challenge from her British rival, says promoter Dmitriy Salita.
Marshall retained her WBO middleweight title with a ruthless knockout to Maria Lindberg on Saturday night and then challenged a massive clash with Shields, America’s multi-weights world champion.
Shields is set to make her MMA debut in the Professional Fighters League in June, but promoter Salita says the 26-year-old remains open to a fight against Marshall, her former amateur rival.
We all see it as a mega event for women boxing.
“We definitely want to end the fight,” Salita told Sky Sports.
“We all see it as a mega event for women boxing.”
Marshall, who beat Shields at the 2012 World Championships, has questioned whether a professional showdown will take place.
“I hit Claressa Shields too hard,” Marshall told Sky Sports. “I hit way too hard and she doesn’t want to know.
“I said last year she’s not interested. She would much rather roll around the octagon. She would much rather call Katie Taylor, who is four weight classes below her. She doesn’t want to know.
“But I won’t wait for her forever. I would like to go out again this summer.
“If she’s got some guts, a big showdown with her at the end of the year.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn insists that a ‘super battle’ can be completed between Shields and Marshall, and tells Sky Sports, “We’re making good progress.
“I had a number of calls with you [manager] Mark Taffet and Dmitriy Salita.
“Of course they know how dangerous the fight is. They want a lot of money and I’m willing to pay a lot of money because I think it’s a huge fight.
“I support her every day of the week. I love Claressa Shields, I think she is great. I think she did a great job for women boxing.
“There’s no way she’s going 10 laps with Savannah Marshall.
“Savannah Marshall is the only girl who has beaten Claressa Shields in her entire life. She beat her in the amateurs, she will beat her in the professionals. I’m so, so confident.”
Shields strengthened her cherished status in March, becoming the first undisputed champion of two weight classes. She is ready to negotiate a deal with Marshall and Hearn.
On her official YouTube channel, Shields said, “You want boxing to be equal, you want to close the inequality gap in women’s boxing.
“Just give me the money I asked for and we can make the fight happen because you think Savannah Marshall can take me off, that the fight won’t last 10 rounds, that she is too strong and too skilled for me.
“Great, I love that. Let’s start the fight, let’s make it, and let’s give the fans what they want.”