Claressa Shields challenges ‘disrespectful’ Savannah Marshall to fight her in America


Claressa Shields has reiterated that a rematch with Savannah Marshall must take place in the US, while also opening the door to potential fights with Terri Harper, Chantelle Cameron and Shadasia Green: “Nobody is getting a free trip to fight me”.

Claressa Shields challenges 'disrespectful' Savannah Marshall to fight her in America

Claressa Shields insists Savannah Marshall has not been respectful enough to earn a rematch in the UK, and says the onus is on the champions of other divisions to work for the opportunity to fight her. 

Shields currently reigns at the top of the middleweight division as a history-making three-weight world champion after beating Marshall in October’s grudge match before retaining her titles with a convincing win over Maricela Cornejo.

She was recently present at ringside in Manchester to watch on as Marshall defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn to become undisputed super-middleweight champion, Shields’ name and the prospect of a rematch having featured heavily in the build-up before the pair exchanged words at the post-fight press conference. .

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“I made that Savannah is still delusional, still disrespectful and didn’t learn from getting her ass kicked by me,” Shields said of the build-up to Marshall’s last fight.

“Here she is getting an opportunity to fight here in the UK for undisputed championship and yet again she was disrespecting another undisputed champion thinking it’s all about her.”

Claressa Shields challenges 'disrespectful' Savannah Marshall to fight her in America

Shields reiterated that she would entertain another clash between the long-term rivals, but only on her terms.

“Why not fight somebody who you’ve already beaten?” she said. “Come to America, that’s all I ask. She is not respectful enough, she is not honest enough for me to give her a chance here to fight for my belts again in the UK, for me to fight her period in the UK.

“She went on Sky Sports and said ‘Claressa can’t sell tickets in America’, that I’m hard to work with, that nobody wants to work with me and that’s why I’m not a big name in America – all lies.

“And she thinks that I want to give her another opportunity to fight against me to make millions of dollars when she’s that disrespectful.

“Come to the US.”

Claressa Shields challenges 'disrespectful' Savannah Marshall to fight her in America

Marshall had previously underlined her interest in a rematch with Shields, insisting the American needed her.

“I’m 32, there’s nobody else about in the division,” Marshall said. “There are definitely things I’d change from the first fight, it was the best Claressa ever.

“She wanted me to go to America. I agreed. I said I’d go to America but I want paying. It doesn’t generate the same money as it does here. I think she’s starting to realise that.

“I think we will eventually get there. She needs me just as much as I need her. She’s never going to make as much money fighting anyone else than what she would fighting me.

“I’ve learned that that’s what boxing’s about. People love confrontation. People love watching people who actually hate each other fight.”

Shields believes there was yet room for improvement on what had been a commanding display to blunt the punch power of Marshall in London at the end of last year.

Claressa Shields challenges 'disrespectful' Savannah Marshall to fight her in America

“I’ve watched the fight with me and Savannah Marshall at least 30 times because I like to dissect my performances – I did really good,” she said.

“I see where I made my mistakes, I see where I made it hard, I see ‘damn, why did I do that there?’ or ‘that gave her the advantage when I did that’. “A win is a win, I won in hostile territory and I definitely dominated.

“First five rounds I was watching the fight like ‘this is such an easy win’ and then I think rounds six or seven she caught me with a punch in my eye and I couldn’t see for a round or two and I still won those rounds.

“I never underestimated her, I knew she was strong, I knew she was bigger than me. I knew she wasn’t more skilled than me, not in the amateurs, not now.

“I wasn’t surprised by anything. She was slow as I expected, she couldn’t take the body shots as expected. She kept saying I didn’t have power and I was like ‘I can’t wait to hit her’ and be like ‘wake up!’.”

Claressa Shields challenges 'disrespectful' Savannah Marshall to fight her in America

The double Olympic and World champion believes there are also marquee fights to be made beyond Marshall as she seeks to add to her belt collection.

“There are girls at 154, girls at 160, girls at 168,” said Shields. “I could fight Savannah, I could fight Natasha Jonas. Terri Harper, Chantelle Cameron, me and her could meet at 47 or 54, Shadasia Green, we could meet at 60.

“I’m not too keen on fighting the 68 girls at 68, I feel more comfortable at 60. I’m at 68 right now, it’s like my walk around weight whereas the 68 girls are walking around at more.

“For the legacy and everything I would fight for undisputed championship at 168 and become undisputed four times.

“It’s on them to put themselves in position, it’s on them to go out there and make opportunities for themselves to where I can see them as being a worthy opponent.

“Nobody is getting a free trip to fight me, I had to take the hard route to get here. Trash talking isn’t going to get it, you’ve got to fight somebody who I’ve fought and beat them, work their way up.”

As for other business interests, Shields noted that she will “probably” be back in the cage next year to resume her MMA career with the Professional Fights League (PFL).


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