Claressa Shields scratched a 10-year itch to exact revenge on Savannah Marshall and become the undisputed middleweight world champion.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shields was putting her three middleweight titles on the line in the undisputed clash, as Marshall came into the fight having held the WBO title since 2020. The pair had been going back and forth for months in the lead-up to their fight, which was originally supposed to take place in September but was pushed back five weeks due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
But it was Shields who made a fast start and clung on in the face of Marshall's late flurry to be given the nod by all three judges at ringside. In doing do, she levelled her series with Marshall having lost to the Brit in the amateurs in 2012.
As the fight got underway, Shields unloaded with a huge flurry that had Marshall covering up but the Brit managed to circle out of danger and land her own combination. Marshall had Shields on the ropes at the beginning of the second round but the American defended well behind her shoulder and came back with her own onslaught. The fakes of Marshall to set up her right hand were paying off as Shields continued to counter with hooks of her own.
Marshall began to work the body in the fourth round as the electric pace was not slowing down. Shields was finding a home for her left hook, capitalising on the low guard of Marshall after they broke from the clinch. The London crowd was roaring for every combination Marshall landed with the Brit feeding off her home crowd support. A left hand from Marshall had Shields hurt midway through the sixth round and the American clinched up to buy herself some recovery time.
Shields displayed some great head movement as Marshall continued to throw her right hand with ill-will, the American was making up for lost time at the beginning of the seventh round by walking Marshall down as the round came to a close. The pace was starting to slow down as Shields welcomed Marshall's forward pressure by countering to the body.
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The O2 arena roared as the final round got underway, with Marshall forcing Shields into the ropes but the American gave back as much as she took. Shields landed two good left hooks to the body and a right to head, but Marshall replied with a hard onslaught as the final bell sounded, with the judges seeing it 96-94, 97-93, 97-93 in favour of Shields as she became a undisputed champion at middleweight.
In the co-main event, Alycia Baumgardner won a controversial decision over Mikaela Mayer to become a unified super-featherweight champion. Baumgardner was the quicker of the two fighters in the opening rounds but Mayer begun to find her range as the fight hit the midway point. Baumgardner had a resurgence late on and did enough to win a split decision by scores of 93-97, 96-95 and 96-95.
Olympic gold medalist Lauren Price improved to 2-0 as she stopped Timea Balik in their lightweight clash. Price’s partner Karriss Artingstall was also in the winning column on the undercard as she won a unanimous decision against the gutsy Marina Sakharov. Caroline Dubois, the sister of heavyweight knockout artist Daniel, picked up the first knockout of the night to improve her unbeaten record to three professional fights. Youngsters Shannon Ryan and Georgia O’Connor won decisions whilst Marshall’s teammate April Hunter also picked up a win.