After a brief hiatus from boxing, Claressa Shields steps back into the ring on February 5 to put her undisputed middleweight champion status on the line against the undefeated Ema Kozin at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. It will be the first time that Shields has fought overseas as a professional but, of most importance, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-division undisputed champion wants to remind the world who the self-proclaimed “GWOAT” is.
“Ema Kozin has a nice record of 21-0-1 and says she has spent a year preparing for me,” Shields told The Sporting News. “And with all that hard work I’m going to show her that it’s still not enough to beat me.
“I’m going to show the world that there are levels to this. I haven’t even been 100% focused on boxing but watch how good I look when I come back.”
Shields currently holds the record for becoming a two and three-division champion in the fewest professional fights. She’s also the only fighter in history, male or female, to be the undisputed champion in two different weight classes. But the 26-year-old will have a rival ringside who can stake her claim as the only person to ever have beaten Shields as an amateur.
“As Savannah Marshall watches from ringside she’s going to see that there are levels,” she continues. “I’m going to destroy both of them.
“I’m going to destroy Ema Kozin inside of the ring physically but mentally it’s going to f—k Savannah Marshall up.”
Of Shields’ 88 professional and amateur fights, only Marshall has been able to defeat her. That storied win came back in 2012 at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in China when Shields was just 17 years of age. The defeat has been something that Marshall has done to taunt Shields in hopes of landing a rematch a decade in the making. While Shields won’t shy away from the fight, she thinks it’s time for Marshall to move on.
“Nobody would know her if it wasn’t for her beating me when I was 17,” Shields says. “Who has she beat as a professional? Nobody knows. This fight is needed so she can move on with her life. It’s gonna hurt when she loses but she needs to move on and I’ll help her with that.”
Shields is relishing the fact that she can compete overseas in what could be hostile territory, as Marshall resides in nearby Hartlepool. Without looking past Kozin, Shields plans on using her as an instrument to make Marshall see what’s in store for her later this year.
“The reason (Marshall) is going to lose to me very badly is because she has lived in that same moment of one victory her entire life and hasn’t gotten better,” Shields says. “She’s stayed there because it was probably the best day of her life. She’s stuck. She didn’t medal in the 2012 or 2016 Olympics. She hasn’t done anything.”
Original source here
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