Savannah Marshall’s bid to become Britain’s first undisputed world champion was ended by old opponent Claressa Shields on points at London’s 02.
At the height of a simmering, decade-long rivalry, American Shields avenged their only loss of their career, which Shields suffered in their amateur days in 2012.
The 27-year-old unanimously won the decision to add Marshall’s WBO middleweight belt to her WBC, WBA and IBF crowns after a stunning fight.
The fight, which spearheaded Britain’s first all-female card, was due to take place five weeks ago but was postponed after the Queen’s death.
In a sold-out O2, Marshall walked to the ring by England Euro 2022 winner and fellow North East native Jill Scott and had to withstand a series of early punches before pinning her opponent to the ropes in an explosive first round.
Marshall, with 10 knockouts on her record to her opponent’s two, caught Shields early in the second, briefly putting the 27-year-old back on her heels.
Shields had the speed, but Marshall had the power, and the pace continued until a brutal fifth round where both women landed some powerful hooks.
The busier Shields were undoubtedly ahead in eighth, but a cut appeared on their forehead as Marshall found a way through their defense.
Knowing she needed a knockout, Marshall threw everything at Shields in another wild final round, but the American landed the cleaner shots and won the fight with the judges scoring it 96-94, 97-93 and 97-93 .
A memorable night by the Thames in Greenwich also saw victories for British Olympians Lauren Price, Caroline Dubois and Karris Artingstall.
Alycia Baumgardner beat her American compatriot Mikaela Mayer in the closest decision to become unified super featherweight champion of the world.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/boxing/claressa-shields-savannah-marshall-undisputed-b2203645.html Claressa Shields beats Savannah Marshall to earn the undisputed crown