Claressa Shields shows her courage and greatness against Savannah Marshall, so what’s next for boxing’s GWOAT? | boxing news

Claressa Shields cemented her claim as boxing royalty by pairing technical supremacy with decisive, gritty resilience to neutralize Savannah Marshall’s power in their frenetic, climactic Saturday night spree.

‘The girl from Flint, Michigan’ had been the common reminder all week in response to insults from friends and family who were supportive of Marshall, with Shields alluding to her success in the face of childhood adversity as a source of inevitability that she would not be refused. Denied that she wasn’t.

The dizzying leap of joy after being declared the winner proved a necessary reflection of the pressure Marshall had applied and the threat it posed as Shields clenched his jaw and fired lightning hands to combat the power of precision that got her into the corner and onto the ropes. Many times.

“I get asked that a lot. I would just say to my younger self ‘keep pushing, it’s getting better’. I’ve had some tough times in life where I wanted to quit boxing, I wanted to quit, I wanted to quit. suicide. Just to know that I continued to stay strong and didn’t let the doubters get to me, and that I didn’t let my childhood trauma get to me. I continued to work on myself- even, I was just telling myself never to give up.”

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Shields admitted she felt Marshall’s power but proved her point by avenging her amateur loss to the Briton

It proved the quintessential all-around performance of the eponymous GWOAT, whose flawless tactics began with a front-foot flurry, evolved into a back-and-forth of steel, and ended in an elite conditioning showcase. and combat management.

That the pair could afford a friendly post-fight hug after a spicy, almost nasty build-up, while respecting boxing’s tendency to become friends, shows a respect that has always been there but channeled through insults.

The pre-fight chirps had picked up during the bout when Marshall informed Shields “you’re cut”, to which the American responded with a firm right before inviting her rival to “cut me again”. It was a fun summary of how the whole process had gone, with Marshall inviting a bite to eat and Shields willingly obliging with the knowledge that she had her fists to follow.

The resume now includes “three-time undisputed champion” with Shields manager Mark Taffet projecting a new history as a four-time undisputed champion. The accolades aside, it was the spectacle Shields had always envisioned, and the caliber his gold-dusted reputation can help manifest in the United States and beyond.

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Right after their epic contest, Shields praised Marshall saying “it was the toughest fight of my career”

“We needed those two girls to give us the fight they gave tonight, we needed the pace, we needed the 10 rounds, we needed people hanging on the edge of their seats so they could say ‘you know something, I can’t wait to see women fight again,’” Taffet said.

“They didn’t deliver, they overdelivered, anyone who watched that fight is a women’s boxing fan now. I remember when it happened in MMA and tonight it happened in boxing.”

Sky Sports’ Adam Smith hailed a feeling of ‘no losers’, while Boxxer CEO Ben Shalom noted he was called ‘crazy’ for ‘not backing this fight with a heavyweight fight’ .

As Marshall stalked Shields looking for a loophole, former lightweight champion Jamel Herring took to Twitter to hail an “old school heavyweight bop.” Not only was his aggressiveness a problem, but also that of his head movement and sideways swinging sought to open up a favorable angle.

Where his bruised hands had spoken in the past, the consumption of lightning shards spoke to a granite chin and admirable determination.

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Jonny Nelson and Nicola Adams have praised Shields and Marshall after their stunning clash in London

It was a contest of tenacity and IQ, fire and maturity, finesse and strength between two of the most gifted Operators in the game. Marshall tall, Shields tall… the tallest.

A barnstormer came at the right time amid a tumultuous time for boxing, while the co and main event put welcome pressure on the industry’s elite to get in the ring together with the others.

Neither has avoided the possibility of a rematch, although no one would blame them for a new storyline after 10 years of “who does it better?” since Marshall’s amateur victory.

Victory for Shields opens the door to other benchmarks, but realistically how long is the current line of contenders able to compete with the levels shown by Marshall? There is a real danger that no one can live with her.

“I want to keep fighting against the best, I’m only 27, I don’t plan on retiring for about 35 or something,” Shields said. “Whatever the best, there are a lot of good champions at 154, if there are rising girls at 160 who think they can beat me, I guess I will fight them, my proxies . I just want to make history really.”

His manager Taffet preceded to hint that he would remain unchallenged in the heavyweight division, causing a puzzled look to cross Shields’ face. “I won’t be 175 for a year or two!” she assured quickly. “Because these girls are big and we need to give them power and muscle! I have all the skills in the world, but I’m a logical fighter.”

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Marshall says Shields is the greatest female boxer of all time

Much of the talk in the build had been about growing Marshall’s confidence with regards to both life in the ring and life selling a fight in front of the cameras. Shields herself, contrary to one of the most self-assured and proud demeanors in the sport, proudly reflected on her own progression.

“The last time I heard a crowd roar like that was in 2012 at the Olympics and it was my gold medal when I was really scared to go out, I usually went out with my head down because I was scared to look at the crowd while she was making me nervous but i looked up i tried to kiss her in 2012 and it made my heart drop in my stomach i said that I would never do that again But here today, 10 years later, I let myself embrace the moment, look around and see everyone,” she said.

As tennis bids farewell to one of the sport’s retired iconic pioneers Serena Williams, boxing must realize its privilege of displaying a talent and role model of the same generation, championing inclusion in Shields.

Throw the hefty broadcast deals at him, throw the sponsorship deals his way, do the Shields and Mayweather documentary “Michigan Greatness.”

“Look what we’ve built,” Marshall stressed this week after being asked by Shields about her decision not to fight her in 2018. Ceiling – shattered.

The only request, perhaps, being the ability to watch two gargantuan combat sports trade shots for three minutes. It will come.

Sky Sports

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