Authorities in Flint, Michigan, have finally publicly identified the individual whom they say punched the trainer of Ivana Habazin, at the October 4th weigh in for her fight with World Junior middleweight champion Claressa Shields that was to have been the next night.
The title fight was canceled after the assault. The Detroit News had more:
A man is facing a felony charge after he allegedly threw punches in October at a weigh-in for a boxing match that was later canceled in Flint. https://t.co/KgLHDIDZtS
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) October 16, 2019
The Genesee County prosecutor’s office announced late Wednesday morning that 28 year old Artis Mack faces a single charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder. This after he allegedly he ran up to and punched 68 year old trainer James Bashir Ali in the face before the weigh in for the fight was to begin.
The Shields-Habazin Women’s World Title fight was to have headlined the Showtime Championship Boxing card from Shields’ hometown that Saturday night.
As we wrote about at the time, video from earlier at the weigh-in revealed Ali in a dispute with another unidentified person, who was standing next to Shields. Bashir Ali and that person, now believed to have been Shields’ sister, were separated from the argument and things appeared to cool down.
However, a couple of minutes later is when the adult male, who is alleged now to be Mack, ran up to Bashir Ali and knocked him unconscious with one punch.
Bashir Ali was unconscious for several minutes with paramedics attending to him. And, a bizarre scene ensued with his fighter, Habazin, crying in hysterics over him. She left with the ambulance to take Bashir Ali to the hospital, where he had facial surgery for several fractures.
Showtime then announced the cancellation of the fight.
Back to the prosecutor’s statement Wednesday, they say that Flint police witnessed Mack fleeing from the scene and an officer chased him into a nearby neighborhood and made the arrest. Mack is slated to be arraigned in a Flint courtroom, but that date has not been set as of yet.
While there are some in the media claiming that Mack is a relative of Shields’, there is no confirmation of that at this time. Shields immediately denounced the assault when it happened and was adamant that it was not a member of her immediate camp or family that had punched Bashir Ali.
It is believed that the Shields-Habazin fight will be rescheduled for perhaps, as soon as December or January of 2020. The 24 year old Shields is 9-0 with 2 KOs and Habazin is 29, a former World Champion and ranked #1 by two of the World governing bodies.