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.”

England vs New Zealand: Nat Sciver-Brunt and Lauren Bell lead hosts to ODI series clean sweep | Cricket News

England vs New Zealand: Nat Sciver-Brunt and Lauren Bell lead hosts to ODI series clean sweep | Cricket News

Nat Sciver-Brunt struck a sparkling 76 not out as England beat New Zealand by five wickets in the third and final ODI in Bristol to complete a 3-0 whitewash in the series.

England won the toss and elected to bowl in the rain-reduced encounter at the Seat Unique Stadium, with pace bowler Lauren Bell taking a career-best 5-37 as the tourists were restricted to 211-8 in their 42 overs.

New Zealand’s batting improved greatly from their last two encounters, though, with Amelia Kerr (57) bringing up her 10th half-century in ODI cricket after sharing a 68-run partnership with her captain Sophie Devine (43).

England stuttered in pursuit of their target of 212, losing three early wickets in the powerplay, with Tammy Beaumont (0) falling lbw to Hannah Rowe (2-38) from the fifth ball of the innings before captain Heather Knight (nine) was caught and bowled by Rowe and Maia Bouchier (19), who hit a brilliant century in the second ODI, departed after being caught behind off the bowling of Molly Penfold, leaving the hosts 33-3 in the eighth over.

However, Sciver-Brunt (76no) and Amy Jones (50) rebuilt the innings with a steady 90-run partnership, with the England No 4 bringing up her 21st ODI fifty from 49 deliveries. Jones followed her to the landmark shortly after with her half-century coming off the same number of balls, before Brooke Halliday (1-29) had her caught behind.

Sciver-Brunt then marshalled England to victory, hitting a single past square leg off Devine to seal the deal with 20 balls to spare as the hosts posted 212-5.

Watch the best of Nat Sciver-Brunt’s innings

Bell shines bright with ball

New Zealand’s opener Georgia Plimmer (seven) was run out for the second time in the ODI series after a direct hit by Charlie Dean at backward point off the bowling of Bell in the powerplay.

Kate Cross (2-46) drew out a thick edge from Suzie Bates (24) who was caught brilliantly behind the stumps by a diving Jones.

Devine (43) and Amelia Kerr (57) helped rebuild steadily with a 68-run third-wicket partnership to counteract England’s early breakthroughs, taking their side to 109-2.

Bell bowled Devine with a fuller delivery that was angling in which the New Zealand skipper under-edged onto her stumps for a timely wicket.

Take a look back on Lauren Bell’s five-for as the England seamer claimed her career-best ODI figures in the third match of the series against New Zealand

Maddy Green (five) drove Cross fiercely through the covers for four but was trapped lbw with a fuller length delivery in the same over and was unable to review the on-field decision as DRS was down.

Halliday (31) and Kerr provided New Zealand with much-needed middle-order resistance with a 65-run stand, with the latter batter bringing up her 10th half-century in ODI cricket.

Bell struck twice in three balls in the 38th over, trapping Kerr lbw with a full and straight delivery before Halliday, who was dropped by Bouchier on 25 at cover, edged behind to Jones, leaving the White Ferns 182-6.

Izzy Gaze (four) miscued a back-of-a-hand slow delivery from Bell to covers where she was caught by Sciver-Brunt.

Lauren Down (14) cleared the ropes at long-off to bring up New Zealand’s 200 in style, off Sciver-Brunt’s bowling – she looked in good form after bowling the most overs since her knee injury.

Bell mixed up her line and length in the final over with another back-of-the-hand delivery that saw the end of Down as she wrapped up the innings with a five-for and career-best figures.

Sciver-Brunt and Jones impress with bat

Beaumont (0) was dropped on the first ball of their chase after she edged Rowe behind to Gaze, who was unable to take a clean catch. The New Zealand pace bowler struck four balls later, though, trapping the England opener lbw. The decision was given out on the field and Beaumont walked without reviewing, but the replay showed the ball was missing leg stump comfortably.

Tammy Beaumont walks without reviewing what would have saved her from going for a duck

Rowe struck again in the seventh over, taking the big scalp of Knight (nine), who got a leading edge off a shorter delivery that clubbed straight back to the bowler.

Bouchier (19) shaped up to play the pull shot but bailed out and the indecision cost England a wicket after she toe-ended through to the ‘keeper, leaving the hosts 33-3.

Sophia Dunkley (15) was unable to have a huge impact in England’s chase after she miscued a cut shot and feathered behind to Gaze, who had a busy day behind the stumps.

Jones (50) smashed seven boundaries during her outing, although she was dropped by Kerr on 40 in the 28th over, and brought up her 14th ODI half-century with a leading edge that dropped wide of point.

Amy Jones departs shortly after bringing up her half-century

Jones departed after reaching her milestone and was dismissed on review after she edged behind to Gaze.

Alice Capsey (35no) and Sciver-Brunt then shared an unbeaten 50-run partnership to ease England over the victory line comfortably.

Bell: I’ve made mental changes to my game

Player of the match, England seamer Lauren Bell after her career-best five-wicket haul:

“I was really happy with today. They built partnerships really well, but I think I was pretty clear with what was good on this wicket.

“Since Durham, I’ve made a few changes to the mental side of it. The skill is there, it’s just applying that in a game and I think did that today.”

Knight: We’ve got to keep it going

England captain Heather Knight:

“I think we were put under pressure today. We had to find a way to claw it back and I think we did that brilliantly, so I’m super happy.

“It’s a really great place to be. There are so many players performing well, which is a really good sign for us.

“I think we’re getting smarter. We’ve evolved a little bit as a team in terms of having that smartness and trying to dominate when we can.

“That’s a really pleasing thing and we’ve got a huge T20 series leading into the World Cup later this year. We’re going great at the moment, we’ve just got to keep it going and the challenge is to keep doing that for the rest of the summer.”

Devine: We showed resilience in this game

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine:

“I thought we showed a bit of resilience. We’ve obviously been absolutely trounced the last two games, and to come back and show a bit of ticker is really pleasing.

“A couple of results doesn’t define us as a team.

“We had to be at our best and we weren’t quite there today. There are a lot of players out there who are stepping up and learning on the job.”

What’s next?

England face New Zealand in a five-match T20I series starting on July 6 at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, live on Sky Sports.

England vs New Zealand T20I series dates

July 6: 1st Women’s IT20 – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
July 9: 2nd Women’s IT20 – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove
July 11: 3rd Women’s IT20 – The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence
July 13: 4th Women’s IT20 – The Kia Oval, London
July 17: 5th Women’s IT20 – Lord’s, London

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