Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall have made weight for their undisputed middleweight championship fight on Saturday, a long-simmering rivalry that will finally be settled in the ring.
Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner also made weight for their three-belt clash at 130, with their rivalry newer but arguably even more intense, resulting in Mayer throwing a kick at Baumgardner during their face off.
Shields (12-0, 2 KO) and Marshall (12-0, 10 KO) both weighed in at 159 lbs, just under the 160 lb limit. Shields has the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts, while Marshall brings the WBO title to the fight. Their issue dates back 10 years to their amateur days.
“It’s another fight. This is my third undisputed match. I’ve been here before. I’m super excited to show them tomorrow,” Shields stated. “Hopefully, the talking is done. But at the end of the day, talking don’t win fights, boxing does. That’s why I’ve got 12 world titles and she’s got one. It’ll be exciting and explosive.
“I’m gonna win at all costs, but I am gonna drop Savannah Marshall tomorrow, I am gonna hurt her tomorrow. Everybody who talked about all this punching power and all that stuff, it’s not gonna mean nothing tomorrow. Her little cheerleaders are gonna be crying tomorrow.”
“I didn’t hear her. Lotta whinging, I don’t know what she said,” Marshall said after. “Everything’s been said now, it’s all about tomorrow and I cannot wait. I made the weight easy. I always do. I’m feeling good. Five weeks (delay) has done me nothing but good, so let’s get it on.”
Asked about Shields saying she’d drop Marshall, Savannah chuckled and just replied, “Ah, well. Whatever,” before predicting her own win.
Mayer (17-0, 5 KO) and Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KO) have been even more fiery in the lead-up than Shields and Marshall, who haven’t exactly been quiet or reserved, and that continued on the weigh-in stage.
Both fighters made weight, coming in at 129 lbs, and Mayer’s IBF and WBO titles are on the line, as is Baumgardner’s WBC belt. The winner will be without real question considered the top fighter at 130 lbs.
During their stare down, Baumgardner, with a trademark smile on her face — which annoyed Mayer Thursday and again today — pressed forward toward Mayer, who stood up on her toes to accentuate her height advantage. Baumgardner then shoved Mayer, who threw a kick at her opponent as security stepped in to separate them.
“I belong here. I’m made for this moment. I’m ready to unify the division,” Baumgardner said. “She’s in there with a dog, she knows that. She feels that she’s threatened. I’m ready to take over and dethrone her. There’s no other option but to get her out of there, stop her, Coach Al’s got to throw the towel, something. This girl’s gotta go.”
“She pushed me, so I didn’t have any arms, because I had three belts, so I had to use my leg,” Mayer said with the hint of a smile. “I feel great. All this talk about me struggling to make weight is a reflection of what’s going on with this girl. She’s struggling. She’s spent way too much time in the weight room. I feel great. I might even hop on down to 126 after this.
“She has to knock me out. She knows that. It’s the only way she’s gonna win. She’s not better conditioned than me, she doesn’t have a higher work rate than me, she’s not more accurate than me. I’m gonna out-box her. She thinks she’s a good boxer, but she’s never been in there with a boxer like me.”