The ‘G.W.O.A.T.’ is going back. Back to the hearth of greatness.
Claressa Shields won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London and is making her U.K. debut as a pro when she collides with unbeaten contender Ema Kozin on Saturday, 5 February in Cardiff, Wales. A mandatory defense of her WBA, IBF, WBC middleweight titles.
“I feel like I’m returning to my old stomping grounds,” said Shields, boxing’s only two-division undisputed world champion, at a media workout in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
“I’m excited to perform and show everyone in the U.K. how I’ve gotten better as a fighter. When they saw me in the Olympics, I was still a teenager.
“I don’t think they’ve seen my style of boxing over there yet. I’m bringing my ferociousness and my swag. I’m going to show them why I’m pound-for-pound. They should all come out and watch this fight because I’m building all kinds of new strength and power.”
On a potential showdown with rival WBO champion Savannah Marshall later this year, she said.
“I’ve never focused on Savannah. She’s been focused on me. If you watch her interviews, she’s always talking about Claressa Shields. I’m definitely happy that the fight with her is getting closer. They’re going to see why I’m a 12-time champion. There is just a huge difference in what we can do as fighters.”
Drama has been building up after Marshall took a swipe at Shields on social media.
“You’re a bum, you only fight last minute replacements, and I can’t wait to whup her ass and smoke you next,” Shields stated.
Marshall would then hit back: “Your next opponent has declined a fight with me three times yet accepted a fight with you. Wonder why? Pillow fists.”
However, Ema Kozin tells that she is ready to derail the plans of a Shields-Marshal mega-fight.
“This win would be historic for myself and for my country,” said Kozin. “Claressa certainly has a good reputation and is one of the greatest female boxers out there, but I don’t feel any pressure because of who she is. I see it as a huge opportunity and not as some kind of burden.”
“The boxing fans can expect a good fight,” said Kozin. “I’m going to go in there and make this interesting for everyone watching. I will give everything I have like I always do and show the world how tough a fighter I am.”
You can watch an interview from the media workout with Claressa Shields by Behind the Gloves here
Shields-Kozin: Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on 5 February, live on Sky Sports.
(Photo by Sean Jorgensen)