CLARESSA SHIELDS’ long-awaited fight in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, has been called off after James Ali Bashir, her opponent’s trainer, was knocked out during the pre-fight weigh-in.
Unbeaten American Shields, 24, was set to face Croatian boxer Ivana Habazin, 29, tonight (October 5) with the vacant WBC women’s junior-middleweight world title up for grabs. However, the reprehensible actions of somebody connected to Shields’ team has unfortunately led to the fight being scuppered.
Bashir, a veteran of the sport, was seen arguing with an unidentified person after the two fighters had been on the scales in Flint. He was then later sucker-punched by the individual and left with a badly damaged face.
Bashir was later rushed to hospital.
“The WBC strongly condemns any act of violence in any event related to our sport, and specially the horrible attack which took place in an official activity surrounding this event,” read a WBC statement.
“The WBC is certain that the corresponding authorities will apply the full extent to the law to this regrettable incident.”
The Shields-Habazin fight was supposed to be Shields’ first in her hometown. It had initially been scheduled for August 17 but had to be postponed because of an injury to Shields.