Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall: The American gives the best track record in the historical fight


Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall have been rivals since their fan days

Claressa Shields became the undisputed middleweight champion by defeating longtime rival Savannah Marshall by unanimous decision in London.

The American was sensational in a career-best performance, avenging the only defeat in his professional and amateur records and asserting himself as one of the best fighters in the world.

All three judges found in Shields’ favor – 96-96, 97-93, 97-93 – as she claimed the WBA, IBF, WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine titles on a historic night for women’s boxing.

The two women paid tribute to each other and set up a potential rematch after a first night at the O2 Arena.

The bout, which lasted 10 years, was the first time two female boxers had fought at a major venue in the UK.

It was a thrilling action-packed fight and a fantastic turn-your-seat match as Marshall showed tremendous heart and determination to remain a constant threat.

It was billed as the greatest fight in women’s history and could quickly become one of the greatest rivalries in boxing history if fans are treated to a second and third fight.

It was also a contender’s fight of the year, a perfect follow-up to Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano’s high-profile encounter at Madison Square Garden in April that was another big leap for women’s boxing.

In six months the women’s code has produced two undisputed fights of elite champions, sold out major venues at the ends of the world and two contenders of the year.

Shields was emotional in his post-fight press conference, but he appeared happy as he insisted the night wasn’t just his.

“It’s not a special moment for me, but it’s a special moment for women’s boxing, Savannah Marshall, Alycia Baumgardner, Mikaela Mayer, Caroline Dubois,” Shields said.

“Women’s boxing has been around for so many years and so many greats have come before us, but here we are in front of 20,000 fans in London at the O2 Arena and I think this is the fight of the year.

“I’m so happy and it’s an unbelievable moment.”