Shields vs Marshall rivalry inflamed by fresh row

Savannah Marshall had a ‘small operation’ which has only delayed her planned fight with Claressa Shields by ‘four or five weeks’, says promoter Ben Shalom.

Reigning WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Shields inflamed the already burning rivalry between the pair with social media posts in which she took aim at the WBO title-holder over the delay.

But Marshall’s promoter Shalom insists the 30-year-old’s rehabilitation has not seriously affected plans for an undisputed world title clash this year.

“Savannah had to have a small operation that unexpectedly required her to need a few weeks of recovery,” Shalom said.

“That meant, obviously, that July was too early, which means that we’ll just go back four or five weeks.

“Hopefully Claressa is going to be sensible and accept that both of them need to be fit and ready for what is the biggest fight in both of their careers and one of the biggest fights in the sport.”

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Savannah Marshall stopped Femke Hermans in devastating fashion with this huge KO at the at Newcastle Utilita Arena.

The American star’s promoter Dmitriy Salita remains optimistic that a fight with Marshall can be confirmed.

“Shields vs Marshall is a mega fight and a mega sporting event which can raise the level of women’s sports.

“I certainly hope the fight can get finalised.

“Claressa is ready, all is confirmed from our side the ball is in Savannah’s court, and we are waiting for confirmation from her team.”

Marshall’s fellow former Great Britain Olympian Natasha Jonas has found herself in Shields’ sights too as the WBO super-welterweight champion ponders her next move.

Jonas’ trainer Joe Gallagher put out a tweet asking “Decisions to be made @TashaJonas ?”, with Shields among the potential future opponents tagged in it.

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Claressa Shields showed what she is capable of, dominating from start to finish in her points victory against Ema Kozin

Shields, who previously held the WBO belt at super-welterweight, simply responded with “Choose wisely”.

Shalom insists Jonas is a threat to any fighter in her division, but Marshall is more likely to fulfil a grudge fight with Shields.

“You never know,” Shalom said. “We’ve seen that she [Jonas] has knockout power at the weight, but I think she got caught up in something I don’t think she meant to.

“Claressa, as we know and it’s why we love her, is a massive character and she wants everyone, but we can’t really look beyond Savannah and Claressa at this stage.”

Source : Sky Sports