Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall confirms London O2 fight against long-term rival Claressa Shields

  • Watch Simon O'Rourke's report from the press conference

After months of speculation it has been confirmed boxer Savannah Marshall will fight long-term rival Claressa Shields in a showdown this autumn.

Hartlepool-born Marshall, currently WBO World Middleweight Champion, will take to the ring at London's O2 Arena on September 10 to face her American rival - in what is hailed the biggest fight in the history of women's boxing.

In April, Marshall paved the way for the 'Shields Showdown', after knocking out Femke Hermans in front of an 11,000-strong crowd in Newcastle.

Marshall handed Hermans the first stoppage loss of her career with a stunning left hook in the final seconds of the third round.

Claressa Shields and her team celebrate victory against Ema Kozin earlier this year - when Savannah entered the ring. Credit: PA

The pair have teased fans with the potential bout by showing up at each other's fights and entering the ring post-victory announcement.

The rivalry between Marshall and two-time Olympic champion Shields has been brewing since the Englishwoman beat the American at the World Amateur Championships in 2012.

Marshall told Sky Sports: "There's no-one else in the way of me and Claressa - it's me and Claressa now. I know Claressa can't handle my power."

The fighters came face to face in a press conference at London's Banking Hall on 5 July, where details of the fight were announced.

Shields and Marshall faced off at a press conference in London on 5 July Credit: ITV News

Both fighters descended the marble steps of London's Banking Hall, standing shoulder to shoulder before the media alongside their respective country's flags and made their way to the press table carrying their world-title belts. After exchanging several verbal blows, arguing over points scored, knockouts tallied, rounds won and belts earned, the fighters were asked whether their bitter rivalry was real, or simply for the cameras.

Marshall taunted Shields, saying she held no hatred for the double Olympic Gold medallist, but respected her contribution to the sport. Shields said she would never use the word "hate" towards another person, but withheld an "ultimate dislike" for Marshall. Their clash ended with Marshall insisting she would not only "hurt", but "out-box" Shields on the night.

Boxing legend, and coach to Marshall, Peter Fury, indicated to a rematch in the United States, saying the rivalry would not end on 10 September: "This fight is going to end up in the trenches."

However, Marshall insisted she will be fighting to end the ongoing comparisons between the two boxers. "I'll win this fight through heart. September the 10th I will become the undisputed Middleweight Champion, this will be the end of it".

The event is billed for 10 September 2022, with pre-sale tickets going on sale via Boxxer promotions.

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