Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields have signed to fight each other in an undisputed middleweight world title clash in early September, promoter Ben Shalom has confirmed.
WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Shields had threatened to walk away from the bout after arm surgery for WBO title-holder Marshall saw it pushed back from a planned date in July to September, but Shalom says the American has now put pen to paper.
Marshall, who dismissed Shields’ claim that she has been exaggerating her injury to buy “extra time”, has also agreed on the clash, which promises to be the biggest women’s fight of all time to take place in the UK as the unbeaten duo go head-to-head.
“Early September – both fighters are ready, both fighters are signed,” Shalom told Sky Sports News.
“I can’t wait. It’s taken a while.
“Claressa has finally got her match. It’s the first time we’re seeing a genuine rivalry in women’s boxing, and that’s a sign of the times.”
“It’s an incredible time for the sport and an incredible time for any woman getting into the sport of boxing.”
The fight had previously been expected to take place in Marshall’s hometown of Newcastle, but Shalom has revealed that excitement around the event may see it take place in London due to a need for a larger venue.
“We are very close to finalising the venue,” Shalom added.
“The fight’s got so big now that it needs an international venue. It will happen in the UK – all the venues want it.
“It’s going to be between Newcastle and London, we’ll see.”
Marshall and Shields both have unblemished 12-0 records, with Marshall knocking out Femke Hermans in her previous fight in April and Shields overcoming Ema Kozin on points in February.
Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, suffered the only defeat of her hugely decorated amateur career to Marshall in 2012.
Source : Sky Sports