- Previously covered University of Michigan for ESPN.com and AnnArbor.com
- Also covered Notre Dame for Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Claressa Shields will once again try to unify all four major women’s middleweight world titles when she faces Savannah Marshall in the main event of an all-women card at the O2 arena in London on Saturday (ESPN+, 2:30 p.m. ET). This is the first of two major boxing cards on ESPN+ on the day. Devin Haney will defend his undisputed lightweight title against the man he took the belts from just a few months ago, George Kambosos, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Shields (12-0, 2 KOs), 27, of Flint, Michigan, is a former middleweight and junior middleweight undisputed champion and a unified super middleweight champ. She vacated the middleweight WBO belt to move down to junior middleweight and now is trying to regain the undisputed title she never lost in the ring against Marshall.
Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs), 31, of County Durham, England, defeated Hannah Rankin in October 2020 to win the WBO belt and has made three successful defenses since. Marshall is the only fighter to have beaten Shields (a points victory at the 2012 world championships in China). Shields finished her amateur career with a record of 64-1 and is looking to avenge the lone loss.
In the co-main event, Mikaela Mayer takes on Alycia Baumgardner in a 10-round three-title unification bout between two fighters who have built up the fight with constant verbal jabs.
Mayer (17-0, 5 KOs), 32, of Woodland Hills, California, won the WBO belt against Ewa Brodnicka in October 2020. She added the IBF belt after defeating Maiva Hamadouche in November 2021.
Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KOs), 28, of Fremont, Ohio, stopped Terri Harper with an impressive third-round KO to win the WBC belt last November.
Follow along as Michael Rothstein recaps the action as it happens or watch the fights on ESPN+.
Fight in progress: Lauren Price vs. Timea Belik, six rounds, welterweights
Dubois stops Koleva in Round 5
The end started in the fourth round, when Caroline Dubois landed a right hook that knocked Milena Koleva to the ground.
The real end came a round later, when Dubois landed a body shot to stun Koleva again and then put her half-down, on the ropes, with Dubois landing more shots to Koleva’s head as referee Sean McAvoy stepped in to stop the fight and give Dubois the win in the lightweight fight.
It was constant pressure for Dubois (4-0, 3 KO) over the last three rounds leading to the knockout with seven seconds to go in the fifth. The 21-year-old sister of heavyweight Daniel Dubois continued her fast rise with the dominance of the 34-year-old Koleva (10-15-1, 4 KO), who hasn’t won a fight since 2019 and has lost nine of her last 10 fights.
Most of that, though, has come against high-quality competition, including Katie Taylor and Maiva Hamadouche twice.
This fight, and how she handled it, signified Dubois, one of more intriguing young fighters in the sport, should be ready for a step up in competition in her next fight.
Artingstall dominates Sakharov, stays unbeaten
For the last four rounds, it was a barrage. If we’re being honest, it was an impressive performance by Karriss Artingstall and a great effort by Marina Sakharov to stay up the entire fight.
Artingstall, featherweight prospect, was excellent overall in her second pro fight, scoring a 60-54 decision over Sakharov, who has now lost 10 fights in a row.
Artingstall (2-0) took control of the fight in the third round, landing a flurry of combinations, and from there the bout never really looked in doubt. By the end of the third, Sakharov (5-17-2, 3 KO) looked exhausted but continued to hang in throughout the six-round fight.
Sakharov has not won a fight since 2018, when she knocked out Branka Arambasic.
Still to come:
Title fight: Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall, 10 rounds, for Shields’ WBC, IBF and WBA middleweight titles and Marshall’s WBO middleweight title
Title fight: Mikaela Mayer vs. Alycia Baumgardner, 10 rounds, for Mayer’s WBO and IBF junior lightweight titles and Baumgardner’s WBC junior lightweight title
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