Claressa Shields makes her UK debut this evening as she defends her unified middleweight titles against Ema Kozin.
American Shields is considered by many to be one of the best female boxers in the world, but she may face a stern test at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tonight as she takes on a fellow undefeated fighter in Slovenia’s Kozin. Shields is 11-0 with two knockout wins to her name, while Kozin’s professional record reads 21-0-1 (11 KOs).
Shields last competed in the boxing ring in March, when she outpointed Marie-Eve Dicaire. Since then, the 26-year-old has twice competed in mixed martial arts, winning her debut via TKO after a valiant performance before losing her second fight via split decision. Meanwhile, Kozin’s last bout came against Radana Knezevic in May. Southpaw Kozin stopped her opponent early in the second round.
Shields vs Kozin will take place on the undercard of Chris Eubank Jr’s middleweight clash against Welshman Liam Williams, who will have the home crowd fully behind him. Follow live updates and results from the entire card tonight, below.
Eubank Jr vs Williams
From its defiant beginnings in Brighton, shirking the weight of his surname in ferocious sparring sessions, to the unforgiving gyms of Las Vegas and the solitude on a farm in rural Florida, doubt has always saddled Chris Eubank Jr’s career. After all, inheritance in boxing can be a gift and a curse, evoking memories and offering a lucrative rite of passage, only for its path to be littered with far more scrutiny.
Now well over a decade into his professional career, that Eubank Jr remains a headline attraction is the best evidence that his talent has always been more than just a birthright. And yet, for all his bravery and showmanship – two traits very much passed down the line, minus the monocle and jodhpurs – the 32-year-old still remains somewhat of an enigma.
Tom Kershaw previews tonight’s main event:
Alex Pattle5 February 2022 17:50
Eubank Jr vs Williams
Eubank Jr, son of English boxing icon Chris Eubank, faces Welshman Williams at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, where the atmosphere should be intense after a heated build-up between the fighters. Williams has promised to “smash this guy to pieces”, while Eubank Jr, 32, has said: “He’s already said he’s going to try and fight dirty, but that’s not the fighter I am. I’m going to beat him the right way.”
Eubank Jr (31-2, 23 knockouts) last competed in October, when his opponent Wanik Awdijan retired after five rounds due to a rib injury inflicted by the Briton. The 29-year-old Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs), meanwhile, last fought in April as he came up short against middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, with all judges heavily favouring the American. Eubank Jr is seeking a title shot of his own but must beware a dangerous and game opponent this evening.
In the co-main event, Claressa Shields makes her UK debut as the American defends her middleweight titles against Slovenia’s Ema Kozin.
Alex Pattle5 February 2022 17:18