Claressa Shields says she “accepts but doesn’t respect” the number of knockouts Savannah Marshall has in her career ahead of their historic showdown at the O2 Arena on September 10, live on Sky Sports.
Marshall has stopped 10 of her 12 professional opponents, Shields has halted two of her 12 pro fights inside the distance.
But Shields does not consider Marshall the puncher in this fight. “Absolutely not,” the American told Sky Sports News.
“You have to look at the opposition. I accept her knockouts but I don’t respect them because of the opponents that they came against.
“In my 12 fights I fought against girls who were undefeated, girls who were champions.
“I went in there against girls who I wasn’t supposed to beat early in my career and I destroyed them whether it was a knockout or not.”
Shields, the unified IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight champion, insists Marshall, the WBO titlist, has “a lot of weaknesses”.
“Her first weakness is underestimating me,” Shields said. “That’s the first and I think her mindset has stayed in 2012 at the World Championships in China [when Marshall beat her in the amateurs]. For all these years she hasn’t been able to move forward from there. She also has been declining as far as her skill.
“I know I’m going to go in there and look phenomenal and I know I’m going to go in there and land the big shots and be in control of the fight like I always do.”
Continuing to progress in training, Shields warned, “I think now my knockout journey starts and I’ll be knocking out girls from here on out.”
Although Shields is not contemplating the prospect of defeat, she can see herself boxing Marshall again after their clash in September.
“We got it in the contract, she can start the whole rematch clause thing or whatever. It’s no big deal. This isn’t my first rodeo, this is my third undisputed fight. I’ll be just enjoying it and if we have to fight two times, three times or fight just once it really doesn’t matter to me, I’m going to win all the time,” she said.
“We’re going to put on a show not just for women’s boxing but for boxing as a whole.”
The biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.