Shields bout vs. Habazin postponed due to injury

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields suffered a knee injury, forcing postponement of her bout against former world champion Ivana Habazin, which had been scheduled for Aug. 17. Shields' promoter, Dmitriy Salita, said Thursday that a new date for the fight is already being worked out.

The bout was scheduled to take place at the Dort Federal Event Center in Shields' hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Shields, 24, says she looks forward to resuming training and having the fight take place this fall. "It's going to be tough for them to keep me out of the gym for a few weeks," Shields said in a statement. "But I will heal quickly and then go to training camp, so I can make history in front of all my fans in the fall. I can promise you this -- I'll be training harder than ever soon again, and I will provide a spectacular performance."

Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is the only American boxer, male or female, to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. She has already unified two belts at super middleweight before dropping down to middleweight, where she unified all four major belts to become the undisputed women's champion in April by defeating Christina Hammer over 10 rounds in Atlantic City. She was planning to drop down to junior middleweight for the Habazin bout.

A Shields victory would give her a world title in a third weight division in only her 10th professional fight, which would be the fewest fights to reach that mark for a male or female. Unified lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, also a two-time Olympic gold medalist, won a world title in a third weight class in his 12th professional fight to set the record in May 2018.

"Claressa will bounce back quickly," Salita said. "Unfortunately, training injuries are part of the sport. A great champion like her will take it in stride and move forward to the new fight date we are currently working to finalize. The fight will be rescheduled for the fall and we will announce the new date shortly."