MIRAMAR, Fla. – August 11, 2022 – Boxing superstar Claressa “GWOAT” Shields held a media workout in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area on Thursday as she nears her upcoming undisputed middleweight world championship showdown against longtime rival Savannah Marshall.
Shields vs. Marshall will take place on Saturday, September 10 from The O2, London and be available on ESPN+ for audiences in the US Shields will bring the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles into the showdown against Marshall and her WBO strap, in an event promoted by Salita Promotions and BOXXER in association with Hennessy Sports.
Shields will look to avenge the only loss of her amateur career and end a long war of words with Marshall that has reached a boil in recent years and which stems from Marshall’s points victory over Shields in a 2012 amateur bout.
Joining Shields on Thursday were her trainer John David Jackson and promoter Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. In addition, rising 20-year-old prospect Sarah Liegmann showed off her skills ahead of her bout on the Shields vs. Marshall undercard.
Here is what the workout participants had to say Thursday from Square Off Boxing & Fitness:
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On how she feels in training a month away from fight night…
“My body feels good and looks good too. I’m in great spirits. Everybody keeps asking me about my nerves. Sadly, I don’t have any nerves before any fight. I’m super excited to fight. I don’t know why, but I just enjoy it.
“Training camp is really the hardest part leading up to the fight. People say that the fight is going to be the hardest part, and I just don’t believe that the fight will be harder than me putting in three different training sessions per day with four miles of sprints and then me coming to the gym and doing the second session. I don’t believe that one night and a 10-round fight with Savannah Marshall, or any other woman, would be harder than my training.”
On the rivalry with Marshall…
“I don’t know if I dislike (Marshall) more, or was it Christina Hammer? I don’t know. I know both of them are just idiots. Savannah Marshall, she says some of the dumbest things… She said if she walked around calling herself the GWOAT that her friends would slap her. As they should… You have a belt. Please don’t call yourself the GWOAT Please don’t. The only people who I think have any right to call themselves the GWOAT is Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano. Everyone else, zip it. Savannah Marshall, zip it. You’ve been pro for five years and only have one belt. Of course, your friends should slap you. I should slap you for you talking about wanting to be the GWOAT, or you’re the GWOAT because you beat me 10 years ago.”
To those that are doubting her in this fight…
“To all of you that are doubting me, just make sure you apologize after the fight. Say, ‘We were wrong.’ You don’t have to say you’re the GWOAT Just say, ‘We were wrong, you’re the best and we respect you.’ And that you respect my hard work and my accomplishments because (Marshall) was the fluke. Her beating me in 2012 before the Olympics was the fluke of her career. That was her biggest achievement. After that, downhill. It wasn’t a fluke that I won the 2012 Olympics because I won it again, and I won the world championships three times after that. So, she was the fluke, and she’s still a fluke because she’s knocked out a whole bunch of bums.”
On Marshall’s power…
“This whole talk is overblown. A lot of people don’t really realize how many haters I have. I’m one of the most sought-after women boxers and people pay a lot of attention to me, but I have a lot of haters because of how great I am. It’s kind of like I’m Floyd Mayweather, but in a woman’s body, you know.
“So, they want me to lose and they’re going to say anything to make her feel like she’s better. I mean look, I accept her knockout because they’re there. She’s 12-0 with 10 knockouts, but go and look at those girls’ records and then tell me whether she should be knocking them out, or not. And you’re going to say, ‘Yea, you should be knocking out somebody that’s 4-25. You should be knocking out somebody that’s 11-75.’ Plus, you’re fighting them on three days’ notice, a week’s notice. You’re supposed to knock girls out like that.”
On the importance of this fight…
“It’s important to win every fight. (Marshall) doesn’t hold a special place in my heart to where I want to beat her more than I want to beat anyone else in my life. No, that’s not it. I think that people that I think too highly of her. I think she’s a good fighter. I think she’s a big girl for the weight class. But she’s not as skilled as me. She’s not as smart as me, and she doesn’t know how to adjust. That’s what we’re going to see on September 10.”
JOHN DAVID JACKSON, Shields’ Trainer
On preparing Shields for Marshall…
“For this particular camp, there are some certain things we’re working on and that we can take away from Savannah. She’s good, but she’s not as good as she thinks she is. So, we just work on different things. Each fight is different for Claressa and we just want to go in there nice, relaxed and calm and not trying to knock her head off right away because you’ll get her, but it’s probably later than sooner. So, we’re just working on certain things to break Marshall down.”
On Liegmann’s development…
“Sarah has come a long way. She didn’t really box. She kickboxed. But now she’s starting to understand the game of boxing and she’s a lot better now. As time went on, when she came back to America, all the things I told her to work on she had worked on them… I saw the cream of the crop at 126-lbs and she has a shot. She definitely has a shot.”
DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions
“There are few male fighters in the history of the sport from the United States who at the peak of their careers have gone across the pond or to a different country to fight their rivals. Floyd Mayweather never left the United States when he was at the peak of his career. Oscar De La Hoya never left the United States during the peak of his career. All these guys, Olympic gold medalists, fantastic fighters, but Claressa is at the top of women’s boxing and is choosing to go across the pond to avenge her only loss in a very, very meaningful event. It’s that type of drive, personality and character that makes a great athlete and a great fighter.”
SARAH LIEGMANN, Unbeaten Prospect
On being a part of the September 10 fight card…
“It’s amazing to be here, train here and have the possibility to fight on this historic fight card. It’s a huge opportunity for me to show the world what I’m capable of. I’m 10 years in already in martial arts, now three years in boxing, and to be on this card just feels amazing.”
On training in Florida…
“To train here in Florida with John David Jackson and to see Claressa Shields training, she’s so inspiring.”
On the hope of becoming a world champion boxer…
“It’s my biggest dream to have the belts. I always wanted to compete. I’m a fighter from when I was a kid and all the way on. I always wanted to step in the ring. I always saw the heavyweight champions, like Anthony Joshua, Mike Tyson and Tyson Fury, and I always wanted these belts and to be the one.”
Photos from Lester Silva/Salita Promotions
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and kickboxer.
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