Shields vs. Habazin Canceled After Trainer Attack
The WBO/WBC Female junior middleweight title fight between Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin is off, as Showtime has canceled the bout after Habazin’s trainer was hospitalized following an attack at the weigh-ins.
Early in the afternoon of October 4, reports surfaced that Bashir Ali, Habazin’s trainer, was sucker-punched from behind by an unknown attacker.
A bloodied Ali, who was reportedly knocked unconscious, had to be stretchered out and taken to a local hospital, where he had to undergo emergency surgery to repair facial fractures.
This is video of @IvanaHabazin trainer Bashi Ali being taken to the hospital after being allegedly "sucker punched" before the @Claressashields weigh in. Read More: https://t.co/tnJ1spHJt2 #claressashieldsfight #claressashields #BOXINGNEWS pic.twitter.com/Go54H537PN
— NBC25 / FOX66 News (@nbc25fox66) October 4, 2019
Jonathan Deutsch of NBC25/FOX66 added footage of Ali in an argument with Shields and members of her team.
Here is what I captured at #ShieldsHabazin weigh-in: Bashir Ali, Habazin's trainer, was in an argument w/ someone affiliated with Claressa Shields (as they were testing the scale for weigh-ins). 10ish minutes later, he was sucker punched from behind. He was taken to a hospital. pic.twitter.com/e1CM8pHjAE
— Jonathan Deutsch (@JonathanD_TV) October 4, 2019
TMZ adds that police have a suspect in custody, but information as to who the suspect is isn’t known as of early Saturday morning. Furthermore, any claims of the attacker being connected to Shields’ team are unfounded at this time.
Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. later confirmed the bout’s cancelation. Showtime will proceed with the card, featuring two prospects: welterweight Jaron Ennis and heavyweight Jermaine Franklin.
At this stage @SHOsports will still have a fight tomorrow but it will not feature #ShieldsHabazin as Habazin’s trainer is heading for Detroit for facial surgery following his attack. Ennis v Fernandez & Franklin v Sour will headline.
— Jimmy Lennon Jr (@TheClassyJr) October 4, 2019
Shields also took to social media to release a statement of her own prior to the fight’s cancelation.
😳 Claressa Shields gives her side of the story after opponent Ivana Habazin's coach was sucker-punched at their weigh-in today. Shields still wants the fight to go ahead: "Her name is Ivana 'No Excuses', so I'm hoping we don't have none."
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) October 4, 2019
Had Shields won this fight, she would have becomoe the fastest boxer to achieve world titles in three different weight classes. This fight was originally scheduled for August 17 but was pushed back due to an injury suffered by Shields.
The WBC released the following statement late Friday:
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 WBC super welter vacant 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 of 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.