Claressa Shields turned undisputed middleweight champion by beating long-time rival Savannah Marshall through unanimous resolution in London.
The American was sensational in a career-best efficiency, avenging the one defeat on her professional and beginner document and staking her declare as among the finest fighters on the earth.
All three judges noticed it in Shields’ favour – 96-94, 97-93, 97-93 – as she claimed the WBA, IBF, WBO, WBC and Ring Journal titles on a historic evening for girls’s boxing.
Each girls paid tribute to one another and touted a possible rematch after an evening of firsts on the O2 Area.
The combat, which was 10 years within the making, was the primary time two feminine boxers had headlined at a serious venue within the UK.
It was an interesting combat filled with motion and edge-of-your-seat exchanges as Marshall confirmed unbelievable coronary heart and resolve to remain a relentless menace.
It was billed as the largest combat in girls’s historical past and will rapidly flip into one of many best rivalries in boxing historical past if followers are handled to a second and even third combat.
It was additionally a combat of the 12 months contender, the proper follow-up to Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano’s exceptional encounter in April at Madison Sq. Backyard, which was one other large leap ahead for girls’s boxing.
Within the house of six months, the feminine code has produced two undisputed fights contested by elite champions, sellouts at main venues at reverse ends of the world and two combat of the 12 months contenders.
Shields was emotional in her post-fight speech, however beamed with pleasure as she insisted the evening didn’t simply belong to her.
“It is not only a particular second for me, but it surely’s a particular second for girls’s boxing, Savannah Marshall, Alycia Baumgardner, Mikaela Mayer, Caroline Dubois,” Shields stated.
“Girls’s boxing has been round for therefore a few years and so many greats that got here earlier than us, however right here we’re in entrance of 20,000 followers in London on the O2 Area and I believe that is combat of the 12 months.
“I am simply so joyful and it is an unbelievable second.”
Shields proves GWOAT pedigree
Shields’ confidence was by no means unsure. The self-proclaimed GWOAT – best girl fighter of all time – took half in a dance routine throughout her walkout.
She soaked up the strain and the boos of the sold-out 20,000-seater O2 area, revelling in an event that at one time in her illustrious profession she should have thought may by no means come.
The combat opened with a livid two minutes with Shields pouring on the strain with pictures to the physique and head of 31-year-old Marshall.
The large puncher was repeatedly caught by the lightning tempo of Shields’ counters and when she tried to stamp her authority within the second, she was caught by two uppercuts from the two-time Olympic champion.
Shields was joyful to be backed on to the ropes by Marshall, responding with quick counters over her rival’s jab when the alternatives arose.
And the openings did come as Marshall tried to sap the power out of the American with fixed strain.
Marshall’s face and ears reddened extra with each passing minute and Shields landed an outstanding left hook within the remaining seconds of the fourth spherical.
Shields and Marshall exchanged left hooks within the fifth spherical nearly concurrently in an attention-grabbing second, however neither girl confirmed any signal of ache.
However there was harm inflicted – as Shields admitted afterwards, she couldn’t see out of her proper eye within the sixth and seventh spherical after a giant shot from Marshall.
Regardless, the relentless tempo continued and the precision and pace of Shields noticed her land two proper arms in fast succession.
Marshall’s chin stood as much as the problem and the Briton was serenaded by the house crowd within the eighth spherical as she looked for a spark.
However once more Shields produced the very best pictures within the remaining seconds, showing to harm Marshall momentarily with a parade of punches.
A lower appeared on the brow of Shields, however the 12-time world champion remained simply out of Marshall’s attain.
“You are able to do it, you’ve got received 4 minutes, dig deep, let her have it,” was the rallying name from Marshall’s coach Peter Fury within the nook earlier than the penultimate spherical.
Marshall tried to reply the decision from her head coach, however the 31-year-old struggled to discover a approach by means of the Shields’ defence even in a frantic finale which noticed each girls swinging.
Marshall was visibly gutted as she suffered the primary lack of her professional profession and handed over her WBO title to her most bitter rival, however the Briton was gracious, accepting defeat towards a fighter who lived as much as each inch of her moniker.
“She has undoubtedly earned the title of the GWOAT,” she stated of Shields.