Claressa Shields’ brother Artis Mack, whose assault on Ivana Habazin’s trainer James Ali Bashir led to the fight being canceled, has pleaded down to misdemeanor aggravated assault. He faces “up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.”
Mack’s counsel appeared to focus less on denying that the attack, which left the 68-year-old Bashir in need of surgery, happened and more on the circumstances that supposedly led to it. Attorney Frank Manley alleged that Bashir had been yelling “racial slurs and epithets,” which were “directed” at Shields’ and Mack’s sister.
Manley also asked if Mack heard people “dropping N-bombs” and that’s part of what prompted him to punch the man Mack believed was uttering the slurs.
Mack said yes.
Both Mack and Ali Bashir are black.
Assistant Prosecutor Karen Hanson provided video of the incident that District Judge Vikki Bayeh Haley viewed in court.
“We do have a video, your honor, indicating ... the victim was yelling and this defendant did strike the victim one time,” said Hanson.
“Yelling racial slurs?” asked the judge.
Hanson said yes.
Mack had originally been charged with “assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder, a 10-year felony.” He will be sentenced on March 10th.
“We consider it a victory. Mr. Mack was confronted with fighting words and very emotional and provocative language,” said Manley. “He was concerned about the safety of his sister. I think there were words in there that were racially tinged, and in his mind, those were fighting words and so forth allowed him to go forward and protect his sister.”