A rematch with Savannah Marshall won’t be next for Claressa Shields, but Shields’ promoter expects them to fight again in a year and a half.
Dmitriy Salita told BoxingScene.com that the tentative plan for Shields (13-0, 2 KOs) is to face other opponents in Detroit, somewhere in Africa and/or somewhere in the Middle East before the Flint, Michigan native goes to a rematch with Marshall. Salita also expressed Shields’ preference for boxing Marshall (12-1, 10 KOs) in Shields’ home country as the middleweight rivals go head-to-head for a second time.
“We would like to do a rematch in the United States,” Salita said. “Claressa went there and paid her dues. We love the British boxing fans and they love Claressa. I think she will continue to grow and grow as a real world champion. She’s making her way around the world, but I think the rematch would be important. A rematch with Savannah Marshall, in the United States, should take place within the next 12 to 18 months.”
Shields, 27, defeated Marshall by unanimous decision in their 10-round, 160-pound women’s middleweight title fight on October 15 at a sold-out O2 Arena in London. The popularity of boxing in the UK and the payday that came with it encouraged Shields to travel to Marshall’s home country for a chance to avenge the three division champion’s sole boxing loss as an amateur or pro.
While Shields would prefer to meet Marshall a second time in the United States, the two-time Olympic gold medalist might consider meeting Marshall again in England.
“We have to do what’s best for the fighter, and that doesn’t always include money,” Salita said. “Often it’s money, but not always money, because Claressa really wants to break through and make history. But we got a great welcome from fans in England, from Sky [Sports]from [Sky Sports’] Adam Smith. We loved hanging out with them and we loved the boxing fans.
“I was with Claressa, walking the streets, and people stopped her almost every minute, asking for autographs and showing support. And some said, “Savannah is going to kick your ass.” Some said, ‘We love you.’ But there was real emotion and passion, which is incredible, that ordinary people know who she is. And not just knowing who she is, but knowing what she is doing and being attached to her story.”
Despite fighting Marshall of Hartlepool, England, in her rival’s home country, all three judges scored their competitive fight for Shields.
Italy’s Luigi Boscarelli and Connecticut’s Frank Lombardi have each credited Shields for winning seven rounds, 97-93 apiece. England’s Steve Gray scored six rounds for Shields, who won 96-94 on his card.
“Savannah Marshall is a very good fighter,” Salita said. “She came to fight and she had the support of the crowd and the comfort of fighting in her own backyard. Leading up to the fight, she was relaxed and came to fight. To show true greatness you need rivalry, you need someone to bring it up. Savannah Marshall certainly made it out of Claressa.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.