Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin
Final Press Conference
Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and
former welterweight champion Ivana Habazin met face-to-face
Tuesday at the final press conference three days before
their long-awaited showdown for the vacant WBC and WBO
154-pound world titles this Friday, January 10 live on
SHOWTIME from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
The press conference also featured Philadelphiaís
welterweight sensation Jaron Ennis and Brooklyn-based
contender Bakhtiyar Eyubov, who meet in the 10-round
co-featured bout, plus Lindenhurst, N.Y. native and WBA
Super Middleweight Champion Alicia Napoleon Espinosa and
undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Elin Cederroos,
who will clash in a blockbuster unification bout to open the
SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION action at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.
PT. The event is promoted by Salita Promotions in
association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from the Hotel
Plaza Athťnťe in Manhattan:
ďIím once in a century kind of athlete. I guarantee itís
going to be over before six rounds. And I say six because
Iím punching different. Iím stronger at 154. Iím faster.
ďI just try to keep carrying womenís boxing the best way
that I can. Iím regarded as a top 10 fighter in boxing
already with only nine fights. When you have that kind of
pressure you have to go out and not be average. Skill wise,
thereís not a woman that can compare to me. I can do
everything. I can box, I can brawl, I can stand in front of
you toe-to-toe. When I win this fight Iím just going to get
a little bit louder with: Sheís the GWOAT, Greatest Women Of
All Time. Put it there. I claim it.
ďAfter everything happened in Flint, I had a conversation
with Stephen Espinoza and he just told me to stay focused.
Everyone who was in Flint and knows about the incident that
happened knows itís not something I have a history of doing.
I donít do stuff outside the ring.
ďOne of the things she said that was really disrespectful
was that I didnít make weight for October 4. Donít believe
the lies. I made 154 pounds and Iím going to be a
three-division world champion come Friday. Ivana doesnít
stand a chance. Iím sorry, Iím just going to keep it real.
Sheís not as skilled as Christina Hammer. She worked her way
up, but once a quitter, always a quitter.
ďOnce the fight is over, sheís going to be a blast from the
past. They wonít be talking about the incident in Flint.
They may remember it, but her? They wonít even remember her
name after I beat her down on Friday.Ē
ďI bet all of you are excited to see this fight. Itís
finally time. First, I want to say thank you to SHOWTIME,
Salita Promotions, and my team, who made this fight. I want
to say that Claressa Shields is not the greatest woman of
all time, but she is the greatest bully of all time. She can
say whatever she wants, but you know what, talk is cheap,
and on Friday night she ainít going to do anything, because
Iím going to knock her out.
ďIn regards to weight, I definitely think itís going to be
an advantage for me, but I donít worry about her weight.
Whatever, this is the fight. Itís not a game, and I came
here to win.
ďShe can say whatever she wants, but the lion doesnít
concern itself with the opinions of sheep. So, I donít even
think about her.
ďIím not worried about the judges. I know what I need to do.
If I want an easy win, itís going to be with a knockout. But
I prepare myself for the knockout or for whatever I need. I
am really prepared better than ever.
ďI donít think the fight is going to be easy. Of course itís
not going to be easy and I prepared for that too, but I
think this is one really big show and the judges will be
fair, but I will not give them a chance to make a decision.Ē
ďI want to thank Eyubov for taking this fight because as you
all know we go through a bunch of opponents every time I
fight. Nobody wants to fight me. I thank him for taking
this, but despite that, Friday night Iím coming to do my
thing and put on a show. You all know Iím in and out like a
ďIím going to get that knockout. Itís going to come. Iím
sure itís going to come because heís got to come to me. Itís
going to come. Weíre going to set it up perfect and get him
up out of here.
ďIím unpredictable. You donít know what Iím going to do. I
can switch it up, I can have fun. I can do whatever I want
to do to him. Friday night heís going to see why nobody
wants to fight me.
ďAfter I do my thing on Friday night, we are most definitely
looking for the top 10 or top 15, title eliminators, world
titles, all of that. 2020 will be the year that I take over
and the world will know about Jaron ĎBootsí Ennis.Ē
ďIím very excited to be here on this SHOWTIME card. I come
from a small country (Kazakhstan) and itís really hard for
me to believe that this is actually happening.
ďIím very thankful for this opportunity and will do my best
on Friday. Iím grateful to fight such a skilled and tough
opponent. I know heís very strong physically and mentally,
but I grew up on the streets and Iíve been around war all my
ďIím going to bring the toughness. Iím not a regular
opponent. I come with an awkward style that will cause him
ALICIA NAPOLEON ESPINOSA
ďWe finally got here and itís amazing. Iím honored to be on
the card with these women and to be bringing this sport up
together. Weíre pioneering for womenís boxing for all the
women that are with us now and the women who are ahead of
On claims that Napoleon-Espinosa avoided Shields in the
ďI did not avoid [Shields] and we hashed this out before in
person, not on social media. I want to get paid. I want to
make decent money and make as much as the men in this sport
eventually. You know when Claressa first started they
werenít offering as much as now and the money still needs to
be more. Women offer just as much as the men.
ďIím looking to be challenged and to fight the best. Thatís
what we are here for. But Iím going to take a stand and Iím
not going to say yes until the team agrees. Thatís where I
ďMy team is something special. This is a big opportunity to
be here and be on this fight card, and I just try to enjoy
every moment. This is my first time in the U.S. I came from
Sweden for this fight. We arrived yesterday, and this is so
fun. I love it. It feels great to be here.
ďThis is a big dream coming true. Thank you for this
opportunity. I donít know what to say, Iím just enjoying the
moment. Iím for sure going to put on a great show Friday
ďI had my first amateur fight six years ago and had to pause
for two years because of my second pregnancy. My kid Jack is
turning four in February. My kids are back at home and my
husband is coming tomorrow.
ďIím just feeling so strong. I feel I have this in me. The
fight is just ahead and I think it will be such a great