A women’s middleweight title unification — and grudge match to boot — between titleholders Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields won’t be happening in late July as expected. With Marshall undergoing arm surgery there’s been a forced delay, something Shields has been vocal about expressing her displeasure.
Now the fight is being looked at for September, but with Shields suggesting she’ll move on with her career against another fighter, Marshall wonders why that’s really necessary if Shields really wants to settle the score with her.
From Sky Sports:
“She’s tweeting that the fight’s not happening and she’s looking at other opponents. Why, for four or five weeks pushback? She’s saying that she’s not putting her career on hold. Five weeks is hardly a gap year, for the magnitude and size of the fight, it’s nothing.”
Marshall would continue by saying that if Shields is really everything she publicly claims to be, it’s a curious stance to take.
“It boils down to if she really wants the fight, because I know for a fact the excuses that she’s made already are a far cry from someone who is the self-proclaimed greatest of all time. If anything, she should want to fight me at my best to prove that she is the best out there.”
The surgery that forced this delay is said to have been an old, lingering issue with Marshall that she’s been needing to address, but had to postpone her surgery after a previously scheduled fight also got postponed, causing a little bit of a ripple effect with the timing. Marshall says she deserves to be fully fit for a fight of that magnitude, and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that she will be.