Shields-Habazin off due to weigh-in incident

By Scott Shaffer


Shields-Habazin off due to weigh-in incident

Showtime Boxing confirmed on its Twitter page that tomorrow's main event between world middleweight champion Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin, scheduled for Shields' hometown of Flint, Michigan, has been called off. The reason: Habazin's trainer, James Ali Bashir was seriously wounded by a sucker punch and is reportedly undergoing emergency surgery. Bashir's assailant has not yet been identified. Showtime announced it will go ahead with its planned broadcast, now a two-fight show instead of a three-fight show.

The WBC issued a statement: "With regards to the situation that occurred during the weigh-in ceremony previous to the fight, that has been cancelled, between Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin for the [vacant WBC 154-pound] title. The WBC strongly condemns any act of violence in any event related to our sport, and specially the horrible attack which took place in an official activity surrounding this event. The WBC is certain that the corresponding authorities will apply the full extent to the law to this regrettable incident. The WBC will monitor the investigation and resolution of the case, and will then determine if an actionable WBC violation of any WBC Rule, Regulation or Code of Ethics took place."

Here is a Salita Promotions press release which does not quite give the full story:

The Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin WBO and WBC 154-pound world title fight has been called off following an altercation prior to Friday’s official weigh-in that resulted in an injury to Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir. Without her chief second available for Saturday night, Habazin withdrew from the fight.

The remainder of the event, featuring as many as seven bouts promoted by Salita Promotions will proceed as scheduled from the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint. 
Showtime will televise a two-fight card featuring welterweight Jaron Ennis of Philadelphia taking on Argentina’s Demian Daniel Fernandez in a ten-round bout. In the telecast opener, unbeaten heavyweight Jermaine Franklin of Saginaw, Mich., will face once-beaten Pavel Šour in a ten-round heavyweight bout.  
Ennis (23-0, 21 KOs) weighed in at 146.2 pounds and Fernandez (12-1, 5 KOs) at 146.6 pounds. Franklin weighed in at 231.4 pounds and Šour at 238 pounds.
Still scheduled for action off-TV is the “All Detroit” ten-round showdown between West Detroit super flyweight Jarico “Great Lakes King” O'Quinn (12-0-1, 8 KOs) and East Detroit’s James “O.G.” Smith (13-2, 7 KOs), as well as Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (7-3, 1 KO) taking on California-based veteran Erin Toughill (7-5-1) in a six-round showcase.
Also fighting will be Flint, Mich., cruiserweight Robert Simms (9-3, 3 KOs) going into a six-round battle against Demetrius Banks of Detroit (10-8-1, 5 KOs); undefeated Kazakhstani heavyweight Izim Izbaki (2-0, 1 KO) facing Mount Morris, Michigan’s Troy Albring (0-2) over four rounds; and undefeated welterweight Jacob Bonas (3-0-1, 2 KOs), one of the last of the young fighters trained by the late, great Emanuel Steward, taking on Indiana’s Norfleet Stitts (1-3) in a four-rounder.