Theater of the unexpected strikes yet again. A spicy video snippet making the rounds, which has a back and forth with Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall as host Johnny Nelson presides, has some fight fans buzzing.
The 27 year old Claressa Shields and Marshall are acquainted, having faced off in 2012, in the lead to the 2012 Olympics in London. In China, Marshall came out ahead of Shields, 14-8. But, this interchange on “The Gloves Are Off” pre-bout hype show suggests a whole other level of intimacy…
Marshall, a 31 year old Brit, speaks on how it came that the pugilists are once again set to trade hands, ten years later.
“The fact that I won got us here,” the 12-0 Marshall stated. “Yeah, sure,” said Claressa Shields, also 12-0, who has promised to stop her rival. (See what the NYF crew thinks will happen, here.)
“The fact that we were both screwing each other got us here,” is what it seems like Marshall replied. The close up is on Claressa Shields, she takes it in, and responds, “I didn’t—I didn’t have sex with you.”
“You did,” says Marshall, who repeats, “You did” as Shields states, “It’s the fact that I even gave you attention..I had to build you up.” Marshall is grinning, seemingly enjoying having dumped this bit of personal business on the lap of her opponent: “You’re joking, you lost the plot? Your head fell off?”
There's no hint of specifics, maybe “The Gloves Are Off” producers have more in the archives…Claressa Shields won gold at the '12 Games, while Marshall lost in her opener. People who follow these things might recall that her teammate Nicola Adams did in fact have a public pair-up with fellow boxer Marlen Esparza, a teammate of Shields at the 2012 Olympics.
On late Thursday night, Claressa Shields took to Twitter, maintaining that she didn’t say the word “sex.”
“They edited the word “shit,” Claressa Shields asserted, “and it sounded like sex. If I was gay I wouldn’t have a problem coming out with it, but sadly I’m not! So that narrative ends here!” Judge for yourself, watch the exchange below:
Maybe the narrative will end here. The video has been scrubbed off several platforms. I messaged Shields’ promoter Dmitriy Salita for comment and will insert if he replies. I asked Johnny Nelson, on Twitter, his recollection of the exchange.
Claressa Shields has spoken of having boyfriends in the past, and there are plenty of pics floating about with Shields and the man identified as her current partner.
Boxer Hughie Fury has been referred to as Marshall’s partner in media reports.
Sure, what these two ladies did or didn’t do in their off time at the 2012 Olympics isn’t of paramount importance. But just for the fact that we’ve never seen this sort of exchange in this context, well, it’s hard not to mention this strange scene. That's one thing about boxing, even if the actual bouts don't supply the promised entertainment, often the hype and banter leading in will prove highly entertaining.