World championship boxing returns to Michigan Oct. 5 when middleweight champion Claressa Shields takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title at the Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown of Flint. The match will be broadcast on Showtime at 9 p.m.
Originally scheduled for Aug. 17, the fight was rescheduled after Shields suffered a minor right knee injury while running.
Should Shields be successful, she will become the fastest boxer, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.
“I’m more excited than ever,” Shields says. “I’m 100 percent recovered, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring and fight in front of my hometown fans in Flint as undisputed champion of the world. Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make October 5 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step in history, and giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”
Shields was the first American boxer in history, male or female, to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. She became unified women’s super-middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional.
Shields, 24, is 9-0 as a professional with two knockouts.
The showdown in Flint is being promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event are on sale and go can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.
“With the new date, this fight is going to be even more significant,” says Dmitriy Salita, president of Salita Promotions. “Claressa has had time to get 100 percent healthy and in the best shape of her life as she goes down in weight to fight for another historic accomplishment. On the other hand, Ivana has used this extra time to prepare for Claressa both mentally and physically. She has remained in camp throughout the summer as she prepares to come to America to upset Claressa and fulfill what she feels is her destiny. It’s going to be two fighters at the top of their games.”