A matchup years in the making, the much anticipated bout between American multi-weight legend Claressa Shields and WBO Middleweight champion Savannah Marshall, will be postponed to October 15, 2022 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. UK boxing promotion BOXXER made the announcement earlier today, releasing a tweet and extended statement on their website.
“This is a time of reflection, for our nation and obviously for the royal family,” boxing promoter Adam Smith said in a short post-cancellation interview. “Sport very much comes second.”
BOXXER follows the lead of the Premier League and official ruling from the British Board of Control in the cancellation, joining other UK entertainment companies in the respectful media silence. Smith and BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom both spoke on the ease of the decision, despite the numerous fighter’s weight cuts and financial investments in the event. Citing the event’s role as a celebration of women’s sport, the Queen’s death was implied to run counter to that theme.
“It’s been a torrid time for the fighters, but ultimately they’re all very respectful of the decision,’ Shalom said. “They’ve reacted extremely well in very difficult circumstances.” Shalom said that the O2 Arena gave them their earliest available opening with October 15, but attendees who already made hotel and travel arrangements will find little comfort in the new date.
Social media was quickly set ablaze with scorn, users questioning the logic of the decision so close to the event when weighed against the fighters physical and mental efforts.
Shields and Marshall have offered words of support to the promotion, each tweeting out messages of understanding regarding the situation. “The country of the UK has took a huge loss of Queen Elizabeth & the country is mourning, the world is too,” said Shields.
What can I say…… I was 159 pounds today, I was mentally and physically ready for tomorrow. I’m sad about the fight being postponed but I’m a big girl & I understand! The country of the UK has took a huge loss of Queen Elizabeth & the country is mourning, the world is too. pic.twitter.com/YGORpeLdsG
— Claressa Gwoat Shields (@Claressashields) September 9, 2022
“I apologize to anyone who has lost money on travel/hotels. Thank you for the support ❤️,” read Marshall’s caption on Instagram. Marshal also took time to share a picture of the Queen on her Instagram Story.
Anticipated as one of the biggest cards in women’s boxing history, BOXXER Legacy- Shields/Marshal features an all-female lineup of former Olympians alongside the champion headliners. First facing as amateurs, Marshall handed Shields her first and so far only loss in her entire boxing career back at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Championships.
Their rescheduled fight will put both the WBO Women’s Middleweight title and Shield’s shot at revenge on the line.