Following a chaotic weigh-in on Friday that saw Ivana Habazin’s trainer hospitalized and undergoing emergency surgery, Claressa Shields’ homecoming to Flint, Michigan and her attempt to become the fastest fighter in boxing history to win three titles in as many weight classes, were put on hold.
Sadly Shields made history in a different way, as this was the first fight to be canceled due to an incident at a weigh-in.
The situation started when Shields’ sister and James Ali Bashir, Habazin’s trainer, got into an argument as both fighters took to the stage. Then, someone sucker punched Bashir, knocking him completely out and causing him to bleed.
Habazin and her team would then skip the scale and rush their trainer via ambulance to a local hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for facial injuries.
Per a report from ABC 12 in Michigan, Shields’ brother is the alleged assailant in the case, and while someone has been arrested in the aftermath of the incident, Flint Police have yet to release a name.
“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 to ABC12.
“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.
“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. [I understand why Habazin withdrew because] 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.”
Initial Report: ABC 12 Flint