CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. IVANA HABAZIN FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
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 Philadelphia’s 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 Athénée in Manhattan:
“I’m once in a century kind of athlete. I guarantee it’s going to be over before six rounds. And I say six because I’m punching different. I’m stronger at 154. I’m faster.
“I just try to keep carrying women’s boxing the best way that I can. I’m 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, there’s 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 I’m just going to get a little bit louder with: She’s the GWOAT, Greatest Women Of All Time. Put it there. I claim it.
“After 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 it’s not something I have a history of doing. I don’t do stuff outside the ring.
“One of the things she said that was really disrespectful was that I didn’t make weight for October 4. Don’t believe the lies. I made 154 pounds and I’m going to be a three-division world champion come Friday. Ivana doesn’t stand a chance. I’m sorry, I’m just going to keep it real. She’s not as skilled as Christina Hammer. She worked her way up, but once a quitter, always a quitter.
“Once the fight is over, she’s going to be a blast from the past. They won’t be talking about the incident in Flint. They may remember it, but her? They won’t even remember her name after I beat her down on Friday.”
“I bet all of you are excited to see this fight. It’s 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 ain’t going to do anything, because I’m going to knock her out.
“In regards to weight, I definitely think it’s going to be an advantage for me, but I don’t worry about her weight. Whatever, this is the fight. It’s not a game, and I came here to win.
“She can say whatever she wants, but the lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinions of sheep. So, I don’t even think about her.
“I’m not worried about the judges. I know what I need to do. If I want an easy win, it’s 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.
“I don’t think the fight is going to be easy. Of course it’s 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.”