FLINT, Mich. (August 14, 2019) – Undisputed WBO Middleweight champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin squared-off and exchanged words at a pair of press conferences in Flint and Detroit on Wednesday, as they previewed their battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship taking place Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

In the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT), Shields will aim to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion, in her first professional fight in her hometown of Flint.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint and the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit:


“I’m so happy to be here. This moment is a long time coming. I’ve been a pro for nine fights and all I’ve wanted to do is come back home and fight. I haven’t fought here since the amateurs when I was 18.

“To be here now as a pro with two Olympic gold medals, all my belts and my whole team here, it just feels really good. Our city has gone through rough times with the water crisis, but I wanted to show that we’re still fighting people.

“A lot of us here are fighting daily. I’m happy that I can be in the ring doing what I’m doing, but outside of the ring I get to inspire kids. Having a summer camp here this summer really changed me. My knee injury gave me more time to spend with the kids, and that time with them made me stronger.

“Being at 154-pounds, I’m going to be stronger and I’m going to be faster. I’ve never had a problem making weight and it won’t be a problem at 154.


“This is a really big opportunity for me. I was a world champion and I’m looking forward to winning a title in another division.

“Claressa Shields is a spectacular fighter and I have respect for her, but I’m going to bring the fight to her. I didn’t come here just to fight; I came here for victory.

“She is taking on a big challenge. If she says she’s going to make the weight, then I believe her. But I know that it’s going to be tough for her because it’s not her natural division. I hope she makes the weight and that we’ll have a good fight. Fighting at 154-pounds is an advantage for me.

“When I decided to fight at middleweight, I started fighting there because I wanted to fight her. She’s the best fighter out there, and I know that I can beat her. When they told me that she wanted to go down in weight, I knew it was the perfect time.

“It doesn’t matter to me if the fight is in Flint, London, New York or anywhere. The ring is my home and what happens in there is the most important thing. I’m always the underdog and I like to be in that position. I won my title in my opponent’s hometown and I’m going to do it again.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME