The postponed fight between two-division titleholder Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin has been rescheduled, as the bout will now take place on Oct. 5, live on Showtime from Shields’ hometown of Flint, Michigan.
Shields (9-0, 2 KO) has dominated as a pro after cruising to gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, including her last fight, a one-sided decision win over Christina Hammer on April 13, where Shields, 24, unified all four major titles at 160. She’d previously won titles at 168, and now moves down again, seeking the vacant WBO title at 154 pounds.
Habazin (20-3, 7 KO) briefly held a welterweight title in 2014, winning it in March of that year before being shutout by Cecilia Braekhus in September. The 29-year-old Croatian is on a five-fight win streak since a 2016 loss to Mikaela Lauren in Sweden.
This fight briefly picked up some social media buzz, or tried to, when Habazin went on social media and accused Shields of not being injured, as officially reported, but instead being “fat” and unable to make the weight in time for their original Aug. 17 date. That petered out pretty fast when Habazin and Shields manager Mark Taffet appeared to forget they were making public tweets and not in the DMs, ruining whatever illusion there was by agreeing that this was all for show and that dummy boxing fans would eat it up.
The press release quotes for the new date mention none of that phony “bad blood,” for what it’s worth.
“I’m more excited than ever. I’m 100 percent recovered, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring and fight in front of my hometown fans in Flint as undisputed champion of the world,” said Shields. “Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make Oct. 5, a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step in history, and giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”
“It’s an honor and a dream to fight in the U.S. on national television,” Habazin said. “A lot of fighters never get this opportunity in their careers so I know I need to make the most of it. I’ve been training for this fight since June and the postponement has only given me more time to get ready. I intend to put my best effort forward to impress the fans and show that I am for real.
“I am not just coming to fight for a world title, I am fighting for my life and my career. I believe I am the best and now I got the chance to prove that, and there is no better opponent for that than Claressa Shields.”