Claressa Shields says Savannah Marshall’s power is not enough to defeat her, despite the British champion’s dramatic knockout win over Femke Hermans.
Marshall demolished Hermans with a huge left hook on Saturday night to set up an undisputed middleweight world title clash with Shields, who was watching from ringside at Newcastle Utilita Arena.
But her American rival insisted she was far from daunted by Marshall’s destructive performance.
“Congrats, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Shields told Sky Sports.
“I said that she would do that with Femke. I’m not Femke Hermans, I’m not Hannah Rankin, I’m not any of those girls she fought against.
“As much punch power as she has, I’m sorry to tell you, if that’s what I got to look forward to, it’s going to be a wipe out.”
Shields had to settle for a unanimous decision victory over Hermans, but she was quick to point out: “I went the distance with Femke four years ago. We fought four years ago, early in my career.
“She’s [Marshall] going to have trouble with me and she’s definitely not going to knock me out.”
Asked if Marshall was the biggest puncher in women’s boxing, Shields said: “No, she’s not, and you guys are going to see that when I come back over in the summer and show you that you have to have power, you have to have skill. You have to have all of that.
“It’s just not going to take her one big punch to deal with me inside the ring. It’s going to take a lot.
“Femke was able to make her miss and I’m 10 times faster than Femke, so what do you think I’m going to do?”
But Marshall remains confident that she will silence Shields with a crushing loss, having halted Hermans to add a 10th stoppage in 12 victories.
“There’s no-one else in the way between me and Claressa, so it’s me and Claressa in the summer,” Marshall told Sky Sports.
“One hundred per cent I know Claressa can’t handle my power. I know when I land on Claressa it will be good night.
“It’s Great Britain versus America, it’s always a great rivalry.
“It’s got to happen here in the north east.”
Where and when is Shields vs Marshall?
BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom is confident he can swiftly finalise a deal for Marshall to face Shields, with all the world middleweight belts at stake in Britain this summer.
“It’s very, very close. Honestly a matter of days,” Shalom told Sky Sports.
“We want it to happen here in Newcastle. This is where it should happen. This is where she’s [Marshall] built her fanbase, this is where it deserves to happen.
“Claressa has come over all the way from the States. She obviously wants it and it’s going to be a classic. An absolute classic and I think a milestone for women’s boxing in general.
“We’re looking at late June, early July now and 100 per cent, I believe it will happen this summer, fingers crossed.
“I want it, everyone wants it, and we’re working relentlessly with Dmitriy Salita, Mick Hennessy and Peter Fury to make sure we put this fight on.
“We had to make sure Savannah got through tonight and she got through in tremendous fashion, so it will happen, very, very soon.”