ABC12 Exclusive: Claressa Shields reflects on canceled fight in Flint

FLINT (WJRT) (10/05/19) - Claressa Shields is hoping to become the fastest fighter ever, male or female, to win world titles in three weight divisions.

That dream stopped short after her her opponent's trainer, Bashir Ali, exchanged words with Shields' sister.

"I was so focused just on the fight. I'm focused on making sure I do everything possible to make sure the fight happens. I just removed me and my team from the situation, and then from there, I don't know what happened," Shields said.

When it was over, Ali was hit in the back of the head by a man in the crowd. The man then ran from the lobby of the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center. A source tells ABC12 that man was Shields' brother, but Shields says she didn't see what happened.

Regardless of who it was, there's a bigger picture for her.

"I don't condone any kind of violence outside the ring. I signed up for boxing to do the boxing inside the ring. Anything outside the ring, I don't really get involved in, and I don't anybody associated with me to be involved in," Shields said.

Shields insists the person was not from her team because they were in the bathroom.

For her, it would have been her first professional fight in her hometown of Flint, something she says was huge.

"I didn't want to wait until the end of my career to do anything. In the midst of my career, while everything is up and great, I wanted to bring some of that hope and happiness back here to Flint to uplift the city with everything we're going through. It's a huge disappointment," Shields said.

Ali was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, and Shields says she's praying for him and for her opponent, Ivana Habazin. As for the fight, she says she understands that Habazin does not want to fight without her coach in her corner.

"That's the man who's been in your corner your whole four months of camp. He needs to be there when you fight for the world title, so I definitely understand that," Shields said.

Shields says she has not thought about when the match will be rescheduled. She says right now, it's not on her mind because her top priority is making sure Ali and Habazin are in good health.



 
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