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Shields-Marshall London Fight Card Postponed To October

Shields-Marshall London Fight Card Postponed To October
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Shields-Marshall London Fight Card Postponed To October

The all-women’s card featuring two major world championship fights — the unification fight for the undisputed middleweight title between bitter rivals Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall and a three-belt junior lightweight unification showdown between Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner — was postponed on Friday due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Events across the United Kingdom were canceled or postponed in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death at age 96 on Thursday, including Premier League soccer games, as the country enters an official 10-day national mourning period.

Shields-Marshall and Mayer-Baumgardner were scheduled to take place on Saturday at The O2 in London and stream on ESPN+ in the United States and air on Sky Sports in the U.K.

Boxxer, the promoter of the card, hopes to reschedule it for Oct. 15 at The O2.

“This is an unprecedented moment in our history and our sincere thoughts are primarily with the Royal Family and the nation at this time. Out of respect, the British Boxing Board of Control has decided to postpone Saturday’s show,” Boxxer CEO Ben Shalom said. “A provisional date for Saturday, Oct. 15 at The O2 is being worked on by all parties to stage this unique and iconic night of celebration for women’s sport at a more appropriate time.”

Boxxer also announced that all tickets for Saturday’s card — which was to be the first of the many boxing events held at The O2 to be headlined by a women’s fight — would remain valid for the rescheduled date.

After the queen’s death on Thursday, Boxxer announced that the weigh-in on Friday would proceed as planned but that “out of the deepest respect” it would take place behind closed doors with media and fans not allowed to attend and that the status of the show would be updated “following consultation with relevant government and sports sector bodies.”

On Friday, the weigh-in was delayed until 3 p.m. London time and then the show was canceled after the British Boxing Board of Control, which regulates the sport in the U.K., announced all boxing events for the weekend had been called off.

“The British Boxing Board of Control have decided that all tournaments this weekend will be postponed as a mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the board said in a statement. “We join as a nation in mourning and pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her dedication to our country during her long reign and the legacy she leaves behind.”

Shields said she understood the reason for the postponement.

“With respect to the country I understand that the Queen of the country passing has an entire country mourning,” Shields wrote on Twitter. “The government is speaking & those in higher power. Whatever the decision I’m respectful of it.”

Three-division champion Shields (12-0, 2 KOs), 27, of Flint, Michigan, who currently holds three of the 160-pound titles, and WBO titleholder Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs), 31, of England, have long-running feud, making their fight one of the most anticipated in women’s boxing.

Shields, who was the undisputed middleweight champion before vacating the belt that Marshall eventually won, is seeking to avenge her only boxing loss. She was 77-1 as an amateur and won two Olympic gold medals but lost a 14-8 decision as a teenager to Marshall in a disputed 2012 bout.

Mayer (17-0, 5 KOs), 32, Shields’s 2016 U.S. Olympic teammate from Los Angeles, and Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KOs), 28, of Bingham Farms, Michigan, have been trash talking each other for months and that did not stop when the fight was postponed.

“Your ass whoopin got postponed! Have fun making weight again,” Baumgardner taunted Mayer on Twitter.

Mayer’s response: “Your pay day got postponed! Have fun going back to being a broke bitch.”

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Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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