Deal for Shields vs Marshall in UK undisputed showdown nearly complete

EXCLUSIVE: A deal for Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields to fight this summer will be agreed within a week with the clash set to take place in the UK… as promoter Dmitry Salita insists Shields has never wanted a fight more than this

  • A deal between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields will soon be reached 
  • Negotiations for the undisputed clash are set to be concluded within a week 
  • The pair clashed after Marshall knocked out Femke Hermans on Saturday night
  • And they will finally go head-to-head in a historic clash in the UK this summer
  • Shields holds the WBC, IBF and WBA belts, while Marshall is the WBO champion

A deal that will see Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall square off in a historic undisputed clash this summer is set to be concluded within a week, Sportsmail can reveal. 

Shields, the current WBC, IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine middleweight champion, was in attendance as Marshall retained her WBO strap with a clinical third-round stoppage victory over Femke Hermans in Newcastle on Saturday night. 

The pair – who subsequently clashed ringside, as they did following Shield’s most recent outing against Ema Kozin in Wales in February – are now set to do battle, again in the UK, this summer.     

Savannah Marshall (left) and Claressa Shields (right) will fight in the UK this summer

Shields holds the WBC, IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine middleweight titles, while Marshall is the WBO champion

Marshall moved to 12-0 as a professional with a destructive performance that further enhanced her ever-growing reputation as the most fearsome puncher in the women’s game, perhaps throughout history. 

The victory – over an experienced former world champion, who Shields managed to defeat only on points in 2018 – sets up a mammoth clash against her long-term rival, in a bout that arguably rivals Katie Taylor’s impending match-up against Amanda Serrano on April 30. 

Shields has lost just once in a boxing ring – as a professional or amateur – coming against a 20-year-old Marshall, when she was just 17, in the amateur ranks in 2012. 

The American will now get her shot at redemption, with promoter Dmitry Salita – who confirmed the fight will take place in the UK – revealing a deal for the long-awaited rematch is now approaching completion. 

‘We’ve still got a couple of details to work out but its close,’ Salita told Sportsmail. ‘Within a week or so we should have it done.’   

Marshall set up the mammoth clash with a devastating knockout win over Femke Hermans

Shields fought in the UK in February as she saw off the challenge of a stubborn Ema Kozin

One issue still in need of ironing out is exactly where the fight will be held, which Salita reveals is still being discussed. 

Marshall, following her phenomenal performance, wants to return to Newcastle once more for the mega-fight. Shields, in travelling over to the UK for the clash, feels a more neutral venue – either in London or Manchester – is more reasonable. 

Whether it’s Newcastle, London, Manchester – or anywhere else in the UK – Salita insists it will be a venue worthy of the occasion.   

He said: ‘Claressa vs Savannah is one of the biggest sporting events of this year, maybe even the decade. This is going to drive the needle and raise awareness and equality in women’s sports. Not just boxing, in women’s sport all over the world.

‘The venue should be appropriate for the respect and the magnitude that this fight is going to have.’

Salita, who insists the dislike between the pair is ‘100 per cent’ real, believes both boxers are now equally as driven to make the fight happen – and says Shields has never before been this determined to get a bout over the line. 

The middleweight pair were involved in a fiery clash following Marshall’s statement display

They also engaged in a heated argument following Shield’s victory over Kozin two months ago 

‘I’ve never seen Claressa want any fight more than this one with Savannah Marshall,’ he said. ‘There are many ways to make excuses and only one way to say yes, and Claressa really wants it. 

‘That’s the reason she fought in Wales in February and came to be ringside this weekend, to leave no stone unturned and to interact with the UK boxing fans and Savannah.’

‘Both fighters, at this stage of their careers, are equally motivated,’ he continued. ‘They both want the fight – obviously Claressa is willing to travel across the pond to get this done.’ 

Salita also insists there is no need to draw comparisons between Shields vs Marshall and Taylor vs Serrano. 

‘It’s not really a competition,’ he said. ‘I’m very grateful that Taylor’s fighting Serrano. They’re both fantastic fighters and they deserve the platform to get what they deserve. I’m a fan of them both, and I’m excited about that match-up.

Dmitry Salita insists the bout is not competing against Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano

‘When I speak about Claressa’s accomplishments, I’m in no way diminishing or putting down other great fighters like Taylor, Serrano or even Savannah. They’re all phenomenal, have their own stories and they’re all phenomenal for boxing.

‘But Claressa is a generational athlete. She’s done things which have never been done before. She’s a two-time Olympic champion which has never been done before by a man or woman from the United States. 

‘She became a two-division undisputed world champion faster than any other man or woman. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, which is one of the most challenging places in the United States.

‘She’s the epitome of an American dream. And not just because the fight is so interesting but because of Claressa’s social impact, this fight will be one of the biggest sporting events of this decade.’

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