Friday night in Atlantic City, Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin will finally stage their World Women’s Junior Middleweight Championship fight, which has had more twists and turns then an entire season of “The Bachelorette.”
We discussed the match up on this edition of the Big Fight Weekend podcast in the preview mode for this weekend. Senior writer Marquis John’s provides his Insight on how he thinks things will go this evening:
This fight was postponed twice last year, first, after Shields suffered a severely sprained ankle and had to stop training last summer.
And then, for a bizarre incident at the pre-fight weigh in, where Shields’ brother assaulted Habazin’s trainer, James Bashir Ali, the day before the reschedule fight.
28 year old Artis Mack, ran up to Bashir Ali and knocked him unconscious with one punch. Mack was taken into custody in Flint, Michigan, and is facing an assault charge.
Bashir Ali was unconscious for several minutes with paramedics attending to him. And, a bizarre scene ensued with 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.
Bashir Ali had formerly trained Shields and this has only added to the intensity and the intrigue of the fight. He has already had one facial surgery and will not be in Habazin’s corner on Friday night.
Just as it was supposed to last year, the fight is headlining the Showtime Boxing’s card, as the main event.
The 24 year old Shields is 9-0 with 2 KOs and she won the Undisputed Women’s Middleweight Titles by 10 round decision last April over Christina Hammer. Meanwhile, Habazin is 20-3, a former World Champion and ranked #1 by two of the world governing bodies.