Boxing: Savannah Marshall believes Claressa Shields should fight her in optimum condition because the mega-fight is slated for September


Boxing: In the midst of a war of words between the rivals after their undisputed middleweight clash was postponed by an injury to the Brit, Savannah Marshall has demanded that Claressa Shields should want to fight her at full strength.

The mega-fight between WBA, WBC, and IBF middleweight champion Shields and WBO champion Marshall was supposed to take place in late July, but due to Marshall’s arm surgery, it will instead take place in early September.

Shields has expressed her dissatisfaction with the postponement on social media, but Marshall believes the Americans should want the battle to go place when both fighters are at their best.

“She’s tweeting that the fight’s not happening and she’s looking at other opponents,” Marshall told Sky Sports. “Why, for four or five weeks pushback? She’s saying that she’s not putting her career on hold. Five weeks is hardly a gap year, for the magnitude and size of the fight, it’s nothing.

“It boils down to if she really wants the fight because I know for a fact the excuses that she’s made already are a far cry from someone who is the self-proclaimed greatest of all time.

“If anything, she should want to fight me at my best to prove that she is the best out there.”

Marshall noted that the delay was caused by a series of events that began with the postponement of her previous fight, a dramatic knockout victory over Femke Hermans.

“The surgery was on my arm,” Marshall said. “It was an old injury that needed sorting. I was due to have an operation in March, but unfortunately, my fight got pushed back to April, which has had a bit of a knock-on effect with everything.

“I don’t want to put myself in the position where I’m not 100 per cent. I need to be 100 per cent to box Claressa and beat her.”

‘The head of Shields has fallen off’

Marshall, who defeated Hannah Rankin to become world champion in 2020, feels Shields’ social media declarations are the product of the American’s nervousness.

“I’ve got a list as long as my arm of allegations that she’s come up with,” Marshall said.

“She comes across dead confident online but I know fine well behind the scenes that her head has fallen off.”

Shields’ only loss in her professional and amateur careers occurred against Marshall in 2012, and the Brit reminded her of it last week on the 10-year anniversary of their fight.

“I don’t really use social media so I just went on to kind of poke the sleeping bear and then I just went off,” Marshall said.

“Since then she’s thrown her toys out the pram and said we’re not fighting and that she’s looking at other opponents, so I think it did the job just a little bit too much.”

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