Claressa Shields on Savannah Marshall: ‘The truth is she’s light-years behind me’

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The only blemish on Claressa Shields’ boxing record happened a decade ago, when Shields was a 17-year-old amateur, but it’s back in the news.

That’s because the two-division professional titleholder will be traveling to face her lone conqueror – Savannah Marshall – on Sept. 10 at O2 Arena in London, England, Marshall’s home country.

Never mind that Shields rebounded from the loss to Marshall in May 2012 by winning a gold medal in the Olympics later that year (while Marshall went out in the quarterfinals) and has become one of the biggest stars in the sport.

The long-ago loss is a hot topic of conversation going into their rematch as professionals, although it’s not as important to Shields as it seems to be to others.

“I only lost in the amateurs in boxing,” Shields said. “I’ve never lost in professional boxing. I’m undefeated. I lost to her 10 years ago in the amateurs by six points. It was 14-8. But that really doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve been able to be successful after that. On the other hand, you’ve got [Marshall], who lost every tournament she was in after our fight, and in those same tournaments I won gold.

“So having one loss in the amateurs and being able to turn pro and do everything that I’ve done since, I don’t really care about (that loss). But I think it’s a great story and storyline, and I guess we’ve got history.”

The fighters have exchanged heated face-to-face trash talk multiple times leading up to the fight, including at a press conference early this month.

However, Shields said Marshall has toned down her rhetoric in subsequent media events, which the American believes is a sign that her rival’s confidence is wavering.

“Marshall has been quiet since the press conference,” Shields said. “She was quiet during our sit together. I was thinking she would have more energy and more spite. But when we were face to face she tucked her tail, and that just showed me right there that she didn’t want this fight. She knows she’s not going to win this fight.

“I saw her do an interview where she had a black eye. So they’ve been trying to put her through all kinds of stuff in sparring to make sure she’s ready. But the truth is she’s lightyears behind me.”

Indeed, Shields doesn’t think much of Marshall’s accomplishments as a professional even though she’s unbeaten, suggesting that the quality of her opponents have a lot to do with her record.

“Marshall has fought a whole bunch of tomato cans,” Shields said. “She might be 12-0 with 10 knockouts, but if you go and look at her record, the majority of those girls had losing records (actually four did).”

She went on: “When we get inside the ring, she hasn’t done this before. She hasn’t fought for an undisputed championship. This will be my third time. So people love to build it up and trash talk, but she’s going to want to talk trash in the ring, and I’m just setting that to the side and focused on training to be better, faster, stronger, sharper and smarter.

“I think she knows that and that she’s in for a tough fight.”

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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie