Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner LIVE: Official result and reaction tonight

Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner LIVE: Official result and reaction tonight

Alycia Baumgardner upset Mikaela Mayer to unify the super-featherweight division and settle their bad blood in a tense and close contest at The O2 in London.

The Ohio woman produced an array of eye-catching power shots, but Mayer appeared incredulous when responding to the split decision, with the former Olympian dropping a decision that saw the Bomb handed the contest twice by a score of 96-95, with Mayer favoured on one car by 97-93.

Mayer’s jab emerged as the dominant punch throughout the 10-round contest, dictating the centre of the ring and routinely landing on Baumgardner.

But ‘AB’ was explosive and countered superbly throughout a cagey affair that lacked rhythm and perhaps fell slightly short of the expectations for a fight where both fighters have been talked about as future opponents for Katie Taylor in the division above.

A rematch may appeal with neither fighter consistently able to shine and a clear winner lacking.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

Claressa Shields: I am the better fighter

00:53 , Jack Rathborn

“[Savannah] is a tough competitor, hard fighter and has endurance but I am the better fighter. I feel like I am 2-0 against her as I don’t think I lost in the amateurs but you can say we are 1-1. I know I did the most work today.”

Savannah Marshall reacts after defeat to Claressa Shields

00:52 , Jack Rathborn

“I want to say a massive thanks to everyone who bought a ticket - it’s amazing that two women have sold out The 02. It’s unbelievable and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

“Claressa is a brilliant fighter - not as fast as I thought. She has definitely earned the title of the Greatest Woman of All Time.”

REPORT: Classy Shields resists gutsy Marshall to earn undisputed crown

23:53 , Jack Rathborn

Savannah Marshall’s bid to become Britain’s first female undisputed world champion was ended by old foe Claressa Shields on points at London’s 02.

In what was the culmination of a simmering decade-long rivalry, American Shields avenged her only career defeat, at the hands of Shields in their amateur days back in 2012.

The 27-year-old won a unanimous decision after a stunning bout to add Marshall’s WBO middleweight belt to her WBC, WBA and IBF crowns.

Claressa Shields beats Savannah Marshall to earn undisputed crown

Shields vs Marshall official scorecards

23:41 , Jack Rathborn

Shields vs Marshall

23:30 , Jack Rathborn

Shields outlands Marshall by 39 punches, landing 175 shots to 136 from the Briton and throwing 83 more with a total output of 480 at a rate of 36 per cent landing.

Shields vs Marshall

23:26 , Jack Rathborn

Shields vs Marshall

23:25 , Jack Rathborn

Shields admits Marshall gave her the toughest fight of her career.

Her eyes are both swollen, the right winner, but the GWOAT was made to work hard.

Shields vs Marshall

23:24 , Jack Rathborn

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Shields beats Marshall by UD to become undisputed world champion

23:20 , Jack Rathborn

We go to the judges’ scorecards... 96-94, 97-93, 97-93 all to the new undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields!

Shields vs Marshall: Round 10

23:16 , Jack Rathborn

Sheilds bruising up on the right eye, Marshall pushing on to start the 10th.

What a fight, they’ve left it all out there.

A gruelling 10 rounds this, Marshall going for broke, Shields a real sharp-shooter though, even at this stage of the fight.

All hell breaking loose at the end, 10 seconds of pure desire to get a stoppage, Marshall with three uppercuts.

Both women raise their hands, we go to the scorecards.

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(Getty Images)

Shields vs Marshall: Round 9

23:14 , Jack Rathborn

Both women head to head on the ropes, looking to land heavy shots.

Marshall tied up and struggling for space, Shields so strong to position her rival where she wants.

That’s better, a big combination on a tired looking Shields with 30 seconds remaining.

Then straight rights exchanged in the middle of the ring by both women.

What a cracker, nine breathtaking rounds of women’s boxing, it’s lived up to the hype and some.

Shields vs Marshall: Round 8

23:11 , Jack Rathborn

Marshall takes a crisp combination on the ropes, but then spins Shields and whips in a hook.

Marshall’s name rings around the arena, she’s still searching for that overhand right.

Shields then sticks her tongue out at her while waiting for the attack on the ropes.

Marshall fatigued and struggling to land cleanly now.

Shields vs Marshall: Round 7

23:07 , Jack Rathborn

More exquisite work up close and on the inside. This is a wrestling match in spells.

Both women struggling for that space, Marshall finds a solution, a nice pivot to the left, hook upstairs, hook downstairs. Tidy work.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Shields vs Marshall: Round 6

23:04 , Jack Rathborn

Undisputed on the line and all the glory, these women are leaving it all out there.

Precision from Shields with the straight right, piercing Marshall’s guard and landing clean.

A clubbing left hook from Marshall with Shields trapped on the ropes, some shot!

But Shields is so gritty, she fires back, both women struggling to create space.

What a straight right from Shields just before the bell, Marshall has some chin on her though.

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(Getty Images)

Shields vs Marshall: Round 5

23:02 , Jack Rathborn

Shields covering up nicely again, that shell is hard to penetrate.

Marshall now shipping damage to the body when the women come together.

A classy left hook from Shields there.

But Marshall then lands a right with Shields trapped on the ropes.

Marshall still leading the action with the jab, but then gets caught with a nasty combination from the American. Shields perhaps building a tidy lead at this stage.

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(Getty Images)

Shields vs Marshall: Round 4

22:58 , Jack Rathborn

Marshall jabbing and then ducking under the counter right from Shields.

Shields pinned to the ropes but her steely defence blocks the uppercut from Marshall. So instead the Briton goes to the body, whipping in those hooks down low.

A tidy uppercut from Shields lands to the body.

Shields makes Marshall miss despite being cornered. Now head to head, digging in to the body, both fighters pouring on the pressure.

Shields vs Marshall: Round 3

22:54 , Jack Rathborn

Marshall back to the centre of the ring, dictating the tempo with her jab.

That languid style, dipping, slipping Shields’ assaults.

But the American shoulder rolls and comes out firing from the corner, danger for Marshall.

The output is surely not sustainable, a crisp jab from Marshall snaps Shields’ head back.

A blur of red and white as Shields counters, the sound of the bell ends another exhilarating round. Close to call that one.

Shields vs Marshall: Round 2

22:53 , Jack Rathborn

What a fight we have already.

Marshall now more imposing. Leads with the jab, but both women willing to fire away and take risks.

If we shaded the opener to Shields, this is to Marshall. Tremendous noise at each exchange, what an atmosphere.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

22:47 , Jack Rathborn

We’re underway!

They tangle up immediately, Shields hitting down as Marshall bends over.

But it’s the home favourite on the front foot, popping the jab.

Shields with huge shots landing, Marshall is in major trouble.

The Briton weathers the storm, shoulder rolling to bide time.

Now Shields in the corner and shipping shots. This is electric!

What a round, Shields takes it for us, but Marshall had momentum in spells. Both women pouring on the pressure, it didn’t take long to ignite!

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

22:45 , Jack Rathborn

The anthems are over, both fighters have been gazing across the ring at each other for a few minutes.

Both fighters and their immense credentials shouted out but drowned out by Marshall’s fans.

Now boos for Shields, whop hops up and down, raising her hands defiantly to the hostile reception.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

22:37 , Jack Rathborn

That is some ovation for Marshall, The O2 roars ahead of this undisputed middleweight fight.

Shields waiting in the back, it’s time!

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(Getty Images)

Mayer vs Baumgardner

22:33 , Jack Rathborn

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Mayer vs Baumgardner

22:29 , Jack Rathborn

Baumgardner lauding her victory and rightly so, a huge night for the Bomb!

Mayer vs Baumgardner

22:15 , Jack Rathborn

Baumgardner beats Mayer by split decision!

And now the unified super-featherweight world champion, adding the WBO and IBF straps to her WBC title.

It was 97-93 Mayer on one card, and then 96-95 and 96-95 to Baumgardner on the other two.

Mayer incensed, it was close, maybe they do it all over?

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 10

22:14 , Jack Rathborn

Here we go then, to the judges’ scorecards...

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(Getty Images)

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 10

22:10 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer out quick to start the 10th, very cagey but she’s leading with that trusty jab.

Huge combination from Baumgardner, who comes in with a great straight right and then moves inside to land the uppercut, this could be crucial.

The bell sounds, both fighters raise their hands, they both think they’ve won. This could be a draw, it was close.

What do you prefer? The more aggression and eye-catching shots from Baumgardner? Or the clean jabs and ring generalship from Mayer.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 9

22:09 , Jack Rathborn

More crisp jabs from Mayer as the sweat sprays off Baumgardner’s head.

Check hook from Baumgardner lands, another close round, Mayer touching up her rival with the jab as the bell sounds.

This is close, but we’ve got Mayer leading heading into the final round.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 8

22:05 , Jack Rathborn

This is tight, we’ve got Mayer just ahead though.

Baumgardner with some success here, but Mayer shakes her head and then lands a stiff jab.

Those left hooks from Baumgardner finding a home tonight.

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(Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 7

22:02 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer bleeding above her right eye.

Both come together with a pair of ferocious hooks.

Baumgardner with plenty of support, then a left hook from Mayer. This one catches fire in the seventh!

Mayer doing great work with the single rights.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 6

21:59 , Jack Rathborn

A nice exchange to start the sixth, a quality uppercut gets through from Baumgardner.

They come together and Baumgardner spins Mayer around.

More inside body work from both. Mayer lunging in to the body, but is caught by a more patient Baumgardner. A close round.

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(Getty Images)

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 5

21:56 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer slips to the canvas, but both women back to work quickly.

Two big rights from Mayer, then the jab leads, quality work. Mayer pushing that jab out like a piston, Baumgardner’s assaults have slowed.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 4

21:52 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer with more success on the front foot and her jab.

That shot seems to be the key punch to this fight, she’s in a rhythm now.

Baumgardner on the outside and measuring the distance, and then comes in with a tasty left hook.

But Mayer is undeterred and keeps that space, working off the jab to pick up another round for us.

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(Getty Images)

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 3

21:49 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer jabs to the body, Baumgardner is engaging in some trash talk, then launches a right that bounces off Mayer’s gloves.

More jabs from Mayer, Baumgardner looking for the check hook. Both women locking up momentarily there.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Round 2

21:47 , Jack Rathborn

Mayer back out to the middle of the ring and seemingly happy to bide her time and jab.

One lands to the body, Baumgardner aiming to turn the screw with a lead left hook.

A big exchange in the corner, Baumgardner lands a beautiful left on the nose of Mayer.

The pair exchange and the WBC champion appears to come out on top. Mayer’s face is red after absorbing a few shots there.

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(Getty Images)
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Mayer vs Baumgardner

21:42 , Jack Rathborn

We’re underway in the co-main event!

Baumgardner dipping low and pushing out a jab to Mayer’s body early on.

Then Bomb launches in with an overhand right, Mayer taking a look and finally throws a stiff jab.

Mayer eventually took the centre of the ring but little landed throughout that feeling out opening round.

Mayer vs Baumgardner

21:39 , Jack Rathborn

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(Getty Images)
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Mayer vs Baumgardner

21:36 , Jack Rathborn

Here comes Alycia Baumgardner, the co-main is moments away!

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Mayer vs Baumgardner up next

21:28 , Jack Rathborn

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Price TKO4 Belik

21:28 , Jack Rathborn

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Shields vs Marshall undercard: Price TKO4 Belik

21:12 , Jack Rathborn

Price with a clean straight left, then a dip in her waist before unloading another.

Both women come together again, but Price pours on the punishment.

It’s over! An anti-climax really, but it was only going one way.

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(Getty Images)

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Price vs Belik

21:09 , Jack Rathborn

Price hitting out of the clinch again, looking to deter Belik from smothering her work.

It’s one-way traffic towards the end of the third, quality combinations from Price as Belik takes a deep breath and stumbles back to her corner.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Price vs Belik

21:06 , Jack Rathborn

Price fighting out of the clinch nicely and shows good hand speed.

The pair trade shots as the second heats up. An uppercut from Price gets through now, the up straight stance of Belik proving an easy target.

Price has a skip around the week, admiring her work in this round. A quality right hook on the bell lands too.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Price vs Belik

21:02 , Jack Rathborn

Price out quickly in the first and hits Belik with a jab and a straight left.

A nice balance and rhythm already to her boxing.

Huge straight left drops on Belik’s chin, the pair come together.

Price getting a bit carried away and Belik lands a heavy straight right of her own.

A good round from Price to open up but Belik grew into the round after a shaky start.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:48 , Jack Rathborn

Up next: Lauren Price v Timea Belik

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Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois TKO5 Koleva

20:39 , Jack Rathborn

Some vicious shots from Dubois, target practice almost as she gets her head down and whips in single shots.

Koleva is digging in though, high risk stuff as we approach the end of the fifth.

It’s OVER! Dubois stops Koleva after stunning her in the corner, her knees bend and the referee is sluggish, watching on as another combinations pours in on the defenceless Bulgarian.

Impressive from Dubois!

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:35 , Jack Rathborn

Koleva is DOWN!

Dubois with a clubbing right and the Bulgarian must beat the count.

She beats the count and protests, the replays show it was more a combination of Dubois’ arm dragging her down.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:33 , Jack Rathborn

This one is alive and both women throwing power shots without much care for defence.

Koleva’s corner urging her on, those lead straight rights as she tumbles forward.

One more lands on the bell to spark a loud roar in celebration from the Bulgarian’s corner.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:28 , Jack Rathborn

Koleva trips and tumbles to the canvas, it’s recognised as a slip.

Dubois in and out, then a thudding left hook.

Heavy arsenal and swinging to the fences by Dubois.

Dubois getting in close and whipping rights to the body. This one has caught fire immediately.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:27 , Jack Rathborn

Dubois leading with the right jab, there’s real snap in her work and jumping in and out of range.

Koleva hitting thin air!

Dubois now landing the jab flush, the crowd already loving this one.

A fun opener!

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Dubois vs Koleva

20:24 , Jack Rathborn

What a tremendous ovation for Caroline Dubois.

Her fight with Milena Koleva is about to get underway!

Shields vs Marshall undercard

20:15 , Jack Rathborn

Comfortable in the end, Artingstall takes it 60-54.

Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner later will be free to watch on YouTube.

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Shields vs Marshall undercard: Artingstall vs Sakharov

20:06 , Jack Rathborn

Sixth and final round here and Artingstall now bringing in a lead uppercut to the party.

But Sakharov is game and happy to trade up, the French woman is giving a good account of herself late here.

A thudding right smacks off Sakharov’s mid-section. Artingstall enjoyed that one and goes back to the body again.

Sakharov better up close on the inside, but Artingstall now jumps out and keeps it in the mid-range. A comfortable victory surely for the Olympian...

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Artingstall vs Sakharov

20:00 , Jack Rathborn

Artingstall piles on the pressure, but the French fighter is displaying some chin as she slips away.

Artingstall throwing plenty and cruising here.

It could be a tough job to get Sakharov out of there.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Artingstall vs Sakharov

19:57 , Jack Rathborn

More dark moments for Sakharov in the third.

But she’s gritty and slipping away just as her torrid times appears too overwhelming.

But that’s another one-sided round.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Artingstall vs Sakharov

19:54 , Jack Rathborn

Clubbing right from Artingstall to the body. She now drops her gloves, then three straight lefts in succession.

Sakharov struggling to throw much back.

Another brutal right dropped down low, and again, she’s unloading here and looking for the stoppage.

The French fighter survives a torrid second.

Shields vs Marshall undercard: Artingstall vs Sakharov

19:50 , Jack Rathborn

A nice, spearing jab from Artingstall.

Sakharov in the corner and absorbing plenty of spiteful shots from the Olympian.

Now Artingstall is unloading, some flowing combinations in a dominant first round.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall undercard

19:46 , Jack Rathborn

Karriss Artingstall skips around the ring ahead of her bout with Marina Sakharov

The Olympic bronze medalist is looking to move to 2-0 here.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

19:38 , Jack Rathborn

The O2 is sold out for Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall.

The main event is approximately two hours and 20 minutes away.

Ring walk times can be found here.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall undercard

19:36 , Jack Rathborn


Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall undercard

19:25 , Jack Rathborn

NEXT: Karriss Artingstall vs Marina Sakharov

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

19:20 , Jack Rathborn

April Hunter beats Erica Alvarez on points.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

19:16 , Jack Rathborn

Sixth and final round here, Hunter switching stance regularly coming in.

Alvarez ducking in and throwing looping hooks.

Energy-sapping contest, Hunter coming on strong and backing Alvarez into the ropes.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

19:15 , Jack Rathborn

A fiery contest this, Hunter and Alvarez trading bombs.

An embrace at the bell moments after Hunter’s crisp left hook leaves Alvarez scrambling mid-combination.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall

19:09 , Jack Rathborn

We’ve got April Hunter and Erica Alvarez in a decent scrap right now.

Savannah Marshall seen backstage taking the fight in, with loud cheers ringing around The O2 when her face appears on the big screen.

Shields vs Marshall undercard results

19:03 , Jack Rathborn

  • Sarah Liegmann beat Bec Connolly on points

  • Ginny Fuchs beat Gemma Ruegg on points

  • Georgia O’Connor beat Joyce van Ee on points

  • Shannon Ryan beat Buchra El Quaissi on points

  • April Hunter beat Erica Alvarez on points

  • Karriss Artingstall beats Marina Sakharov on points

  • Caroline Dubois stops Milena Koleva in fifth round

Shields vs Marshall winner set to win WBC ‘Elizabethan Belt’

19:00 , Jack Rathborn

The winner of tonight’s main event will pick up the new WBC ‘Elizabethan Belt’ as part of BOXXER’s tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last month.

BOXXER’s Ben Shalom said: “This is a wonderful tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II in what will be an iconic event for boxing.

“The Elizabethan Belt will provide an extra special incentive for both fighters - and this incredible, commemorative championship will provide the perfect legacy for the winner.”

When is Shields vs Marshall?

18:55 , Lawrence Ostlere

The first fight of the night is set to begin at 5pm BST (9am PST, 11am CST, 12pm EST), with the main card following at 8pm BST (12pm PST, 2pm CST, 3pm EST).

Ring walks for the main event between Shields and Marshall are expected to take place at 10pm (2pm PST, 4pm CST, 5pm EST).

How to watch

The event will air live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena in the UK, with coverage beginning at 7.30pm BST (11.30am PST, 1.30pm CST, 2.30pm EST). Sky subscribers can also stream the action live on the Sky Go app.

In the US, ESPN+ will air the bout live.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall: Full card

18:41 , Lawrence Ostlere

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall (undisputed women’s middleweight title)

Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner (unified women’s super-featherweight title)

Lauren Price vs Timea Belik (women’s welterweight)

Karris Artingstall vs Marina Sakharov (women’s featherweight)

Caroline Dubois vs Milena Koleva (women’s lightweight)

Ebonie Jones vs Vanessa Caballero (women’s super-bantamweight)

April Hunter vs Erica Alvarez (women’s super-welterweight)

Georgia O’Connor vs Joyce van Ee (women’s super-welterweight)

Shannon Ryan vs Bucha El Quassi (women’s super-flyweight)

Ginny Fuchs vs Gemma Ruegg (women’s super-flyweight)

Sarah Liegmann vs Bec Connolly (women’s super-bantamweight)

Mayer explains Baumgardner clash at weigh-in

18:30 , Jack Rathborn

“I didn’t have any arms because I had three belts, so I used my leg,” Mayer told Sky Sports. “All this talk about struggling to make weight is a reflection of what’s going on with this girl. She spends too much time in the weight room, she’s struggling. She has to knock me out, she knows that, it’s the only way she’s going to win. I’m going to out-box her, she thinks she’s a good boxer but she’s never been in there with somebody like me.”


Forgotten man Deontay Wilder can shred heavyweight scene with signature KO against Robert Helenius

18:20 , Jack Rathborn

Observe the heavyweight landscape before you. In the background lies Anthony Joshua, Britain’s fallen heavyweight hero, beaten once again. In the foreground, perhaps unnervingly close and paying no respect to your personal space, is Tyson Fury, bleating about his compatriot’s alleged cowardice and beckoning forward old foe Derek Chisora, who is lumbering into frame. Not enjoying the scenery?

Squint, and spy, if you can, Deontay Wilder. That’s right, there he is, somewhere before the horizon but not yet over the hill – a glove on one hand and remote in the other, ready to detonate the very scene that you and the rest of boxing’s fandom finds so distasteful.

Beside the American, who turns 37 next week, is Robert Helenius, whose exact role in this picture is as yet undetermined. On Saturday night, he will journey to New York with Wilder for a main-event contest at the Brooklyn Center. From the moment of depature to the moment of arrival, the Swedish-born Finn will stand firmly in Wilder’s blast radius, with many expecting the 38-year-old to be eviscerated. Consider, however, that Helenius might not be the victim that he is currently being portrayed as.

Forgotten man Deontay Wilder can shred heavyweight scene with signature KO

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall undercard: Who else is fighting this weekend?

18:10 , Jack Rathborn

A landmark night for women’s boxing will play out at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday, as old foes Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall clash to crown an undisputed middleweight champion.

The pair met in the ring as amateurs, with Briton Marshall outpointing her American rival, who is out for revenge in their rematch this weekend – a month after the fight was postponed following the death of the Queen.

Shields, 27, carries the WBA, WBC, WBF and IBF middleweight titles into the O2 Arena, while Marshall, 31, puts the WBO belt on the line.

Who is fighting on Shields vs Marshall undercard this weekend?

Deontay Wilder maintains Anthony Joshua fight is ‘biggest in the world’

18:00 , Jack Rathborn

Deontay Wilder still believes that a potential encounter between the American heavyweight and Anthony Joshua would be “the biggest fight in the world”.

A fight between Wilder and Joshua, two of the world’s leading heavyweights, is yet to materialise.

The pair came close to a unification bout four years ago, but negotiations between the two then-undefeated fighters failed to result in agreement over terms for a fight.

Deontay Wilder maintains Anthony Joshua fight is ‘biggest in the world’

Floyd Mayweather claims he was paid $1m to take Deji phone call over exhibition negotiation

17:50 , Jack Rathborn

Floyd Mayweather has claimed that he was paid $1 million (£892,635) to take a phone call and open negotiations with Deji Olatunji.

The undefeated 45-year-old has agreed to an exhibition match against the British YouTuber, who has a 1-0 record as a professional.

Mayweather and Deji will meet in Dubai on 13 November, continuing a series of exhibition fights for the former five-division world champion since concluding his 50-0 professional career in 2017.

Floyd Mayweather paid $1m to take phone call to negotiate Deji exhibition fight

Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner: Bad blood, glory and why ‘women always have to do more’

17:40 , Jack Rathborn

After a turbulent week, boxing is desperately clinging to Saturday’s timely all-female card. It’s a tonic for the sport after the doping episode that prompted the collapse of Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn, and fans will treasure a bill that includes four classy fighters facing off in two mouthwatering scraps at the O2 Arena.

It would be hypocritical to emphasise just the pure matchmaking and fierce competition, as the bad blood provides an enticing element to the sport and quickly sparks chaos once that first bell sounds. Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner, as chief support to Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall, offers the right amount of all of those ingredients required for a tremendous fight with the super featherweights poised to collide and unify the division.

Mayer vs Baumgardner: Bad blood, glory and why ‘women always have to do more’

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall: Boxing set for era-defining night as ‘women show the men how it’s done’

17:30 , Jack Rathborn

Boxing will get the cleansing enema it needs this weekend when four of the finest female fighters compete for seven world titles at the O2 Arena.

The brilliant all-female card was originally scheduled for the O2 last month, but was dropped 24 hours after the Queen died; three of the four boxers in the two world title fights returned to their homes in America.

A new date was found, the full card was put on notice and after some gentle relaxation, everything is set for Saturday night. It is a great testimony to the promoters, Boxxer, for their direct actions and assurances. I was convinced that one of the two exceptional world title fights would fall victim to circumstances. The men would have fallen down like feathers in the wind and started suing.

Shields vs Marshall: Boxing’s era-defining night as ‘women show men how it’s done’

‘I’m next in line’: Mikaela Mayer eyes super fight with Katie Taylor after Alycia Baumgardner grudge match

17:20 , Jack Rathborn

Mikaela Mayer has set her sights on a fight against Katie Taylor next should she emerge victorious in her grudge match with Alycia Baumgardner on Saturday.

The IBF and WBO super-featherweight world champion looks to unify the division against her compatriot, who holds the WBC crown, as chief support to Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall, in the historic all-female card at The O2.

But after missing out on facing Taylor throughout a fine amateur career, which saw Mayer represent the United States at the Rio Olympics, a step up in weight to battle the legendary Irishwoman is top of her goals beyond this weekend.

‘I’m next in line’: Mikaela Mayer eyes super fight with Katie Taylor in Ireland

The Independent’s pound-for-pound boxing rankings

17:10 , Jack Rathborn

The boxing landscape is arguably as intriguing as it has ever been.

The past few years have seen heavyweight epics for the ages between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, they have seen Saul “Canelo” Alvarez establish himself as the face of the sport in the eyes of many fans, and they have seen frequent displays of technical brilliance from champions in lighter weight classes.

There have been upsets, title unifications, and there has been no shortage of drama – Anthony Joshua’s defeats by Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk standing out as prime examples.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall will be a fight for the ages

17:00 , Jack Rathborn

After Claressa Shields’s clinical dismantling of Ema Kozin in Cardiff, with 10 brutally one-sided rounds inviting awe and grimaces in equal measure, a more competitive duel erupted at ringside. Throughout the course of the fight, Savannah Marshall had sat in the front row with an expression of theatrical boredom, at one stage even pretending to fall asleep. But as the pair came face-to-face in front of the cameras, their longstanding animosity quickly ignited as a shouting match featured all the grand predictions and angry threats that form the fabric of any legacy-defining bout.

It is a tantalising prospect, and undoubtedly one of the best fights to be made in boxing. Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and holds three of the recognised middleweight world titles. She is an astonishing talent, who perhaps fairly proclaims herself as the greatest female boxer in history, despite still being only 26 years old. Her only defeat as an amateur came way back in 2012, in the build-up to the London Games. It was inflicted by the harder fists of Marshall, who never achieved such distinction as an amateur but now holds the only belt out of Shields’s reach.

It is a rivalry riven with intrigue and hostility. There is an underlying respect for one another’s ability, but also a personal dislike. For Shields, that defeat remains the only blemish on a path she’s blazed through the sport. And as she fielded questions shortly before midnight in Cardiff, the Michigan native was typically bullish. “I haven’t been impressed with any of Marshall’s fights,” she said spikily. “I think her getting a few easy opponents and a few knockouts have really fed her ego the wrong way. She doesn’t know how to be a world champion. I’m glad the confidence is up the roof because I’m going to beat it out of her.”

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall would be a fight for the ages

Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields exchange verbal blows ahead of showdown showdown

Friday 14 October 2022 17:04 , Jack Rathborn

Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall produced fireworks in a war of words at the weigh-in for their middleweight world title unification fight on Saturday.

The American, who holds three of the world titles at the weight, vowed to knock out the Briton, with the pair putting their ‘0’ at risk entering the bout with matching 12-0 records.

On the historic all-female card, Shields is bullish over her chances and eager to win in emphatic fashion.

The 27-year-old from Michigan told Sky Sports: “This is my third undisputed match. I’ve actually been here before. I’m super excited for tomorrow. I’m going to get the job done.

Verbal blows traded as Savannah Marshall prepares for Claressa Shields showdown