By: Sean Crose
Claressa Shields – who is probably the best female boxer on earth – will face Ema Kozin on February 5 at Wales’ Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. This will be the undefeated 11-0 boxer’s first professional fight outside of the United States. Like Shields, Kozin is undefeated, boasting a 20-0-1 record. Known as “The Princess,” the Slovenian boxer exuded confidence during a media call Wednesday to promote the fight. However, Shields, who has been dubbed “The Greatest Man of All Time” or “GOAT” for short, expressed confidence in his rights.
“I have never overlooked an opponent,” Shields said, “and I won’t just for the Savannah Marshall fight. We always have someone we’re working hard to face for the next fight. I’ve been in this situation before. I am focusing on the person who has won the right against me. Kozin is my must, and I respect that this is a huge opportunity for her. ”
While she’s always taken her training seriously, this camp offered Shields something unique: the chance to work with Floyd Mayweather. “Working out with Floyd Mayweather has given me more confidence,” Shields said. “He enjoyed my skill and strength and he said he would fly to the UK to watch this match. So I’m definitely looking to put on a great performance. ”
Shields has made it clear she is not at all worried about returning to the UK. Since it was at the London Olympics, where Shields won a gold medal in 2012. “I hope UK fans will be excited to see me,” she said. “When I walked out there in London for my gold medal match in 2012, it was an explosive crowd. They have amazing fans and I’m excited to be back to show all my progress since 2012”
Although she tried her hand at MMA recently, Shields said she still loves the sport she won her glory in. “I have never lost my love of boxing,” says the 16-year-old from Flint, Michigan. “It was my first love and that’s why I was the best in it. MMA is something I do for myself. Even being able to do that, no amateur experience needed, just shows that I am a different kind of athlete.”
Despite focusing on Kozin, Shields still wants to get in the ring with Savannah Marshall undefeated 11-0 in what could be a huge match. “I hope to be in the ring with Savannah Marshall next,” Shields said. “Women’s boxing is on fire right now and we’re giving the fans the fights they want.”
Kozin, of course, has made it clear that she has plans of her own. “I have never been as prepared as I am now,” said the challenger. “I wouldn’t step into the ring with her (Shield) if I didn’t believe I could beat her.”