The bitter rivalry between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall could turn into a multi-fight series as the announcement of their long-awaited fall clash approaches, says Ben Shalom, CEO of BOXXER.
Shalom confirmed last month that the undefeated fighters have signed terms to meet in an undisputed world middleweight title showdown in September after arm surgery for WBO champion Marshall saw the fight pushed back from his starting date of July.
The delay had seen the WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion Shields threaten to quit the contest while suggesting her opponent was looking to buy “extra time,” but the two remain on track to settle a Marshall dating dispute that inflicted on the American the only defeat at an amateur level.
“It will be announced very soon, in early September,” Shalom told Sky Sports. “It’s a fight we’ve been waiting for a long time, a lot to overcome.
“Two extraordinary talents, an incredible fight for boxing not to mention women’s boxing. It’s so interesting, just like a clash of styles.
“It’s an intriguing fight, there are very few fan fights that you can’t really miss. Shields vs Marshall will be one of them.”
Shalom hailed the pair’s rivalry as one of the biggest and most unique in women’s boxing, such is their history and long-term career implications at stake.
The fan in him would accept more than a showcase of a fascinating blend of styles, although he admits that both aim to make a statement the first time he asks for it.
“I think so [this could be a multi-fight deal]”said Shalom.” I think first of all both fighters will want to deal with each other in the first fight, they won’t want to mess, they will want to do business and they won’t think about the rematch.
“But when you have two such people and such different personalities and styles you can’t help but think ‘this is a trilogy, is this the beginning of something we’ve never seen in women’s boxing?’
“Because I don’t think we’ve ever seen a rivalry stand the test of time in women’s boxing like this. This is real rivalry, this is real animosity, this is UK versus US, personality clashes, styles clashes, it has it all. the first time we see it in women’s boxing.
“Provided the first meeting is incredible, then I’m sure it will happen again. But I know that talking to Claressa and talking to Savannah is such a dislike that they want to confront each other and move on.”
Shields was recently seen training with former UFC champion Henry Cejudo as he is aiming for a third MMA fight beyond his fight with Marshall. However, Shalom has no worries about preparing for the double Olympic champion.
“Claressa has won two gold medals, a multi-weight champion, I think she knows what she is doing in the ring,” said Shalom. “She Probably she is looking for other challenges maybe, but this will be her target, this will be her next meeting.
“They are both busy, they both know this is the biggest fight of their careers and this will be a landmark event for boxing and whatever Claressa does next, fair play and good luck for her.
“But I don’t think we have to question Claressa Shields’ preparation. She is an absolute pro, she is an absolute machine and she is still only 27, so she will see this as her time to be truly recognized for what she has achieved in the sport. . “