Highlight 5 | Issue | Premium | Reports | Jan 13 2020

Dominant Claressa Shields unifies titles in a third weight division

Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin suffer in comparison to the sizzling war between Elin Cederroos and Alicia Napoleon-Espinoza. Nigel Collins reports from ringside
Claressa Shields
Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Atlantic City • January 10

THE outcome of the Claressa ShieldsIvana Habazin bout was practically preordained. The poster for the fight read: “Her Story On The Boardwalk,” and it didn’t mean Habazin. It was, therefore, no surprise when united middleweight title-holder Shields dropped down to super-welterweight to garner the vacant WBC and WBO belts with a 10-round unanimous decision over outclassedHabazin at the Ocean Casino Resort (Salita Promotions).

Shields was scheduled to face Habazin on October 5 in Claressa’s hometown of Flint, Michigan. The match was cancelled after Habazin’s trainer, 68-year-old James Ali Bashir, was sucker-punched at the weigh-in by Shields’ brother, 28-year-old Artis Mack. He was arrested and is awaiting trial on the charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

Although Shields dominated and won by wide scores of 99-98, 100-90 and 100-89, the rescheduled bout was not a particularly inspiring one. It was a sloppy affair marred by an abundance of mauling, pushing and clinching.


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