By Scoop Malinowski
There’s only grudge fight in boxing today where the two combatants genuinely resent each other and want to beat each other up.
Fury vs Usyk or AJ? AJ vs Usyk 2? No. They seem more like WWF business fights where they will box each other, smile and laugh together in the ring together and then laugh all the way to the bank.
Lomachenko vs Kambosos? It’s just a regular boxing match with no tension or bad blood.
Canelo vs whoever he handpicks? Business events.
There’s only one fight in the sport today where you can sense and feel the hatred, tension, grudge, clash of egos… it’s Savannah Marshall vs Claressa Shields.
“You’re a bum, you only fight last minute replacements, and I can’t wait to whup her ass and smoke you next,” Shields stated.
Marshall responded quickly on social media: “Your next opponent has declined a fight with me three times yet accepted a fight with you. Wonder why? Pillow fists.”
This women’s showdown has been building for years, with Marshall accusing Shields of dodging her. And it looks to be true, Shields talks about how great she is but has thus far has fought a series of outclassed opponents. Shields has managed to evade the confident, hard hitting British woman who beat her as an amateur.
Marshall has let it be known too, she wants to rip Shields head off, and Shields has heard the disrespectful talk and ducking accusations and she’s cornered now, she has to put up or shut up and fight Marshall.
It’s the only fight today with that extra dimension of an ego clash being more than just business, it’s personal. It’s the way boxing was in the golden era, like Duran vs Leonard, Ali vs Frazier, Hopkins vs Tito, Jones vs Tarver, Wladimir vs Haye, Wladimir vs Fury, Tyson vs Lennox.
Press conferences and boxer inteviews today are all boring, they all sound scripted, there’s no real venom, it’s like they’re all in on it together. Soft sparring, easy big money payday.
Nobody could have ever guess Shields vs Marshall could be the fight that saves boxing.