The October canceled fight of World Junior Middleweight Women’s Champion Claressa Shields is apparently back on for January.
This after a report Wednesday afternoon from Fightnews.com senior writer, Ryan O’Hara. O’Hara revealed that he is learned that the bout with number one Contender Ivana Habazin, will apparently be in January:
Sources: Plans are being worked on for @Claressashields to face Ivana Habazin in January.
The ladies were supposed to fight for a vacant world title last month, but Habazin’s trainer got sucker-punched from behind by Shields’ brother, Artis. Definitely will be a bad blood fight
— Ryan O'Hara (@OHaraSports) November 5, 2019
The October 5th fight was called off after a bizarre incident at the weigh-in the day before, where Habazin’s trainer James Bashir Ali was knocked unconscious by Shields’ brother.
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 has now been identified as 28 year old Artis Mack, ran up to Bashir Ali and knocked him unconscious with one punch. Mack is Shields’ brother and is still in custody in Flint, Michigan, on an assault charge.
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, which was to have headlined the network’s fight card from Shields’ hometown.
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. The fight was already postponed earlier in 2019, when Shields suffered a badly sprained ankle and had to stop training.
O’Hara told us on a previous episode of our Big Fight Weekend podcast that there is apparently a significant lawsuit being threatened privately by Bashir Ali against Mack and Shields, and it’s unclear how that factors into the fight being back on for early next year.