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Savannah Marshall vows to knock out Claressa Shields ahead of their unification bout

Ten years after Savannah Marshall defeated Claressa Shields in an amateur competition, the two will finally square off as professionals in a middleweight title unification fight. All that uproar and rage can fade away on Saturday when they face off for the undisputed middleweight world championship, compete in front of a loud O2 Arena crowd, and put an end to a feud that has festered for more than a decade.

The last time they squared off in the ring was in 2012, when Shields was just 17 years old, and Marshall prevailed. Much has changed. Shields, who had never lost before or since the defeat to Marshall, went on to win two Olympic gold medals, three professional division titles, and establish himself as the face of combat sports. The 27-year-old Flint, Michigan native is 4-0 versus previous or current champions and is 7-0 in title matches. She has won world titles in two different weight classes. In her 12-fight career, she has only lost a handful of rounds, including at least seven clean decisions and two knockouts.

The 31-year-old Marshall, who represented her native England as a two-time Olympian and 2012 World Champion, lost both of her fights in 2012 and 2016. She defeated Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO middleweight title in October 2020, and she successfully defended it three more times, all by knockout, against Maria Lindberg, Lolita Muzeya, and Femke Hermans to set up the matchup with Shields.

Ahead of their fight Marshall has predicted a knockout win over Claressa Shields infront of the home support. While talking to Sky Sports she said

"Everyone is coming here to watch the Brit knock the American out. This is what sold that fight," she said. "No one's coming to watch her. Everyone's coming to watch the Brit knock the gobby American out. That is what it is.

"I'm never going to get a fight like this, where there's a rivalry. Where it's a little bit more than business. It is a little bit more than business," she continued. "This is the biggest fight for me. "There's me and Claressa. This is it. This is the one."

Marshall eventually won the WBO championship trophy. While neither can turn back time, the Briton's years of despair as a professional and amateur athlete would be put to rest if she were to defeat Shields and become undefeated. The two women lock horns at the O2 Arena London on 10th September live on SkySports Box Office.


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