Claressa Shields on Lauren Price: ‘We can fight and prove who’s the best Olympic champion!’ | Boxing News

Claressa Shields on Lauren Price: ‘We can fight and prove who’s the best Olympic champion!’ | Boxing News

Claressa Shields is a unique fighter. An undisputed champion, she is a multi-weight titlist who has also competed in MMA and who will go for a title in a fourth division later this month.

She will challenge Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse for the WBC heavyweight championship in Detroit.

The Olympic middleweight gold medal has only been won by two women, Shields in 2012 and 2016, and most recently Wales’ Lauren Price, who triumphed at the Tokyo Games.

Price dropped down to welterweight after the Olympics and is only seven bouts into her professional career, but has won the inaugural women’s British title and the WBA world title already.

Lauren Price claimed the WBA world title after beating Jessica McCaskill on points and said it was the start of many more big nights in Cardiff

Shields does not rule out Price becoming one of her future rivals.

“It’s hard to put anything past Olympic champions. She won the Olympics 2021,” Shields told Sky Sports.

“I feel like when you’ve been all over the world and you’ve boxed and you’ve won World championships, it’s kind of destined for you to be great in the pros. I wish her the best of luck.”

They are not on a collision course in the immediate future. Price has plenty of ambitions to realise at welterweight and Shields is moving up in weight for the Lepage-Joanisse fight.

Lauren Price reflects on her victory over Jessica McCaskill to become Wales’ first female boxing world champion and discusses what’s next in her boxing career

But heavyweight is what the WBC calls its 12st 7lbs division, i.e. light-heavyweight (the WBO light-heavyweight title will also be on the line in their fight).

Shields has operated across several weight classes, super-welter and super-middle included, but is a natural middleweight.

Price’s greatest amateur successes were at middleweight, where she won World and European gold medals as well as the Olympic Games. Along the way, she also beat a light-heavyweight World champion at 75kgs.

Lauren Price received an incredible reception from fans after becoming Wales’ first female boxing world champion

Shields doesn’t think their current weight classes will necessarily keep them apart.

“She won the Olympics at 165lbs (75kgs) just as I did – two times – and if she ever wants to fight I would love to fight against her too,” Shields said.

“I believe anything is possible and I really want to fight anybody that wants to fight me. So if Lauren Price keeps winning and comes to 154lbs, 160, 168, we can fight and prove who’s the best Olympic champion.”

Lauren Price claims the WBA welterweight world title with a dominant win over Jessica McCaskill

Shields’ great rival is another Briton, Savannah Marshall. The American beat Marshall in their 2022 grudge match. But Marshall is now also competing in MMA as she pursues another clash with Shields.

“I beat her in the UK with 20,000 of her fans. She needs to come to America and fight me in front of 20,000 of my fans and let’s see if she can handle being booed and her national anthem being booed and people telling her she sucks!” Shields declared.

Savannah Marshall discusses the rematch with Claressa Shields and if we’ll see it in the boxing ring or the MMA cage

“I would love to fight her again and prove that I’m not just one time better than you, I’m two times better than you either inside the cage and definitely inside the ring. It really doesn’t matter which one.”

But first Shields has a more immediate task, winning yet another accolade against Lepage-Joanisse.

“I’m going for my fourth division,” she said. “It’s going to be big and it’s going to be history-making.”

Savannah Marshall must travel to US or neutral venue for MMA fight with Claressa Shields, says Dmitriy Salita | WWE News

Savannah Marshall must travel to US or neutral venue for MMA fight with Claressa Shields, says Dmitriy Salita | WWE News

Claressa Shields will not return to Britain for an MMA fight against Savannah Marshall, says the American star’s promoter Dmitriy Salita.

Marshall and Shields verbally agreed to resume their rivalry in the cage after the English fighter had marked her MMA debut with a first-round stoppage of Mirela Vargas at PFL Europe in Newcastle on Saturday night.

But Salita, who promotes Shields, has warned that she will not head back to the UK again after previously travelling to The O2 in London for a unanimous decision win over Marshall in their boxing bout in October 2022.

Marshall has admitted she is keen to reignite her rivalry with Shields

Salita told Sky Sports: “Claressa and Savannah’s rivalry is alive and well in every sport they compete in. Great fighters need rivalries to drive the sport forward.

“As women’s boxing grows, it’s empowering to see the enormous popularity of this rivalry.

“To be fair, Claressa already travelled thousands of miles to the U.K. to beat Savannah in her home country and avenge her only [amateur] loss.

Savannah Marshall stopped Mirela Vargas in the first round at PFL Europe

“It relates to boxing, now the shoe is on the other foot, so Savannah has to come to the U.S. or possibly a neutral location.”

The duo are now set to trade strikes in MMA instead of boxing, but Salita remains confident that a rematch will happen in the ring.

But the immediate aim for Shields is becoming a four-weight world champion as she will challenge WBC heavyweight champion Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse in Detroit on July 27.

“It is one of the biggest and truest rivalries in boxing, a women’s version of Leonard vs Hearns,” said Salita. “Both are at their peak, and I believe a rematch is in order.

“But first things first – Claressa vs Vanessa, a fourth division title fight on July 27 in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena.

Claressa Shields
Shields will not be heading back to Britain, says promoter Dmitriy Salita

“We would like to invite Savannah to sit ringside, as Claressa has done for many of Savannah’s fights.”

After Queensberry’s 10-0 victory over Matchroom in the recent 5 vs 5 tournament in Saudi Arabia, Salita is keen to stage a tournament between his promotional stable and BOXXER.

“We have one of the best talent rosters in the sport of boxing, which I would be delighted to showcase in 5 vs 5 against BOXXER or anyone else.

“Ladies first – Claressa vs Savannah can top the card.”

Savannah Marshall stops Mirela Vargas in MMA debut at PFL Europe before calling out Claressa Shields | WWE News

Savannah Marshall stops Mirela Vargas in MMA debut at PFL Europe before calling out Claressa Shields | WWE News

Savannah Marshall dazzled on her MMA debut as she stopped Mirela Vargas in a frantic first round at PFL Europe in Newcastle on Saturday night.

Marshall was competing in the cage for the first time having made a step across to MMA after defeating Franchon Crews-Dezurn to become undisputed super-middleweight boxing champion in July last year.

An early acid test arrived in the form of multiple takedowns, from which Marshall recovered superbly to showcase her talents as one of the fiercest punchers in female boxing.

Marshall remained calm in the face of some troublesome early leg kicks, demonstrating her training alongside UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall to get back to her feet smoothly.

Her knockout exploits would soon prove too much for Vargas as she unleashed a vicious flurry of shots that forced the referee to bring the contest to a halt.

Marshall walked out wearing a Newcastle shirt in front of her home fans

With long-time boxing rival Claressa Shields in attendance, Marshall wasted no time in reiterating her intentions to meet the American in the PFL.

“Are we getting it on in the cage or what?” Marshall said. “Let’s do it. Full MMA rules. Let’s go!”

Shields beat Marshall via unanimous decision when the two headlined the UK’s first televised all-female boxing card at The O2 in October 2022.

It capped a fiery build-up stemming from Marshall’s victory over Shields in the amateur ranks, which remains the latter’s only career boxing defeat to date.

Shields herself made the decision to dip her toes in the world of MMA when she made her PFL debut in 2021, since which she has amassed a record of 2-1.

Marshall weathered an early storm to overpower Vargas
Marshall weathered an early storm to overpower Vargas

She is now scheduled to make her return in boxing by challenging Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse for the WBC heavyweight title in Detroit on July 27, setting her sights on becoming a four-weight world champion.

Marshall’s debut comes after just nine months of training in MMA, the 33-year-old not shying from repeatedly admitting that the prospect of facing Shields was a major factor in her decision to step across.

“These MMA fighters, you’ve got to be a little bit crazy to do this,” said Marshall.

“I’ve loved it, fight week, the training, the MMA community has welcomed me with open arms. It’s a tough sport and I take my hat off to anyone who does it.”

Claressa Shields steps up to challenge WBC heavyweight champion Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse in boxing return | Boxing News

Claressa Shields has her sights on becoming a four-weight world champion after stepping up to challenge women’s WBC heavyweight champion Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse.

The 29-year-old has been competing in mixed martial arts with Professional Fighters League since August last year, winning her most recent fight in February with a split-decision verdict over Kelsey DeSantis.

Shields will return to boxing on July 27 to face Lepage-Joanisse at the Litte Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, where she successfully defended her undisputed middleweight world champion status against Maricela Cornejo in June last year.

“This is a significant and unique fight where I am moving up two weight classes against a very tough champion in my quest to become world champion in my fourth weight division,” Shields said.

“I plan to do what I do best: bring that GWOAT energy and continue putting women’s boxing on the map.

“I’m excited to bring another entertaining fight to Little Caesars Arena. Last time 12,000 fans filled the arena, and this time we’re going to lift the roof off the building.”

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shields, who is 14-0 (2) as a professional, has already been a world champion at light-middleweight, middleweight and super-middleweight.

Claressa Shields sent a chilling message to rival Savannah Marshall saying that the she wouldn’t be able to beat ‘The GWOAT’ in MMA, boxing or ping pong!

The clash with Canada’s Lepage-Joanisse (7-1 (2)) will see the vacant WBO light-heavyweight title on the line as it will be fought at that division’s limit of 12st 7lb.

However, the WBC class that as heavyweight for their women’s title, with the 28-year-old Lepage-Joanisse having won that belt via a split-decision victory over Abril Argentina Vidal in March.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s Claressa or someone else,” Lepage-Joanisse said. “My life is all about challenges.”

Watch Richard Riakporhe challenge Chris Billam-Smith for the WBO cruiserweight world title at Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Saturday June 15