NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 07: Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin pose for media following their … [+]
Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin have built quite the rivalry, especially when you consider the two women have never met in a professional boxing ring.
After having their bout previously scheduled and canceled twice before, Shields and Habazin will finally fight on Friday at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the vacant WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles.
Here’s how you can watch:
- Date: Friday, January 10
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: Showtime
- Live Stream: Showtime App
The fight was scheduled for August 17 in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Michigan, but a knee injury forced a postponement. Subsequently, the fight was rescheduled for Oct. 5.
However, an altercation at the weigh-in between Habazin’s manager James Ali Bashir and Shields’ sister appeared to lead to an attack of the 68-year-old man moments after words were exchanged.
Bashir suffered serious injuries and the fight was called off. Shields’ brother, Artis Mack was arrested for the attack and charged for the crime. As you can imagine, there is bad blood on both sides, and Shields has vowed to KO Habazin by the sixth round.
Habazin is keeping the memory of her trainer’s attack in her mind as motivation.
“I’ve been thinking about this since October and I have more of an incentive now given what happened,” Habazin said. “I feel like I’m fighting for James Ali Bashir, as well as for my own pride and respect. I’m also fighting for my country. I want to make Croatia proud that I am their daughter, and I feel that I now have their full support.
Shields (9-0, 2 KO) is already one of the most accomplished women’s boxers in history. She has won two world titles at super middleweight and all four recognized world championships at middleweight.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 07: Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin argue during their face off at a … [+]
She is moving down to 154 pounds in search of more gold and to further her brand as the GWOAT (Greatest Women Of All Time). If Shields defeats Habazin, the 24-year-old will have won titles in three different weight classes faster than anyone in history.
Shields is determined to put the incident behind her and to dominate in the ring.
“No matter what she says, this beat down was coming in October,” said Shields. “All I’m doing is bringing it to Atlantic City. I’m going to knock her out. I’m going to put down a whole different beat down on her because of the level of disrespect she has shown me. I’m not going to let her be disrespectful towards me and I’m going to knock her out to shut her up.”
Habazin is 30 and has more professional experience (20-3, 7 KO), but the Croatian isn’t expected to defeat Shields. It seems a resolution to this beef is coming in the ring.
In the co-main event, undefeated 140-pounder Shohjahon Ergashev will face fellow unbeaten prospect Keith Hunter. By no means is this card stacked with major names, but because Shields is on the cusp of making history, and with no other major events on TV or live stream, it is the No. 1 choice for boxing fans this weekend.