Friday, May 27, 2022

‘I don’t feel pressure despite Shields’ reputation’

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Claressa Shields has been warned that her “reputation” will count for nothing in her UK debut when she fights Ema Kozin.

Shields’ IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight championships will be on the line in Cardiff on February 5, live on Sky Sports, on the Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams undercard.

“This win would be historic for myself and for my country,” said Slovenia’s Kozin.

Image: Ema Kozin is undefeated in 22

“Claressa certainly has a good reputation and is one of the greatest female boxers out there, but I don’t feel any pressure because of who she is.

“I see it as a huge opportunity and not as some kind of burden.”

Image: Claressa Shields will make her UK debut

The 23-year-old Kozin has worked her way up the rankings earning 10-round unanimous decision victories over former world title challengers Maria Lindberg and Chris Namus. Most recently, Kozin stopped Radana Knezevic in two rounds in May 2021 as she awaited this showdown with Shields.

“I have been preparing specifically for this fight for more than half a year and I’ve made a lot of progress as a fighter,” said Kozin.

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Savannah Marshall says a unification bout against Claressa Shields would be the biggest fight in women’s boxing

“I’m feeling ready, excited and eager to show everything I’ve learned in this ring.”

America’s feted Shields, who has won two Olympic gold medals, world titles in three divisions and undisputed titles in two divisions, knows a dream clash with Savannah Marshall awaits this year if he can dispose of Kozin.

Image: Ema Kozin is aiming to cause a major upset

“The boxing fans can expect a good fight,” said Kozin.

“I’m going to go in there and make this interesting for everyone watching. I will give everything I have like I always do and show the world how tough a fighter I am.”

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

Sunday January 30 in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Nico Ali Walsh

Saturday February 5 in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Saturday February 19 in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut

Saturday February 26 in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane – Scottish heavyweight title

Saturday March 5 in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Sunday March 20 in New York
Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls
Keyshawn Davis
Xander Zayas