Chris Eubank Jr., Liam Williams, Claressa Shields and Ema Kozin will only have to wait one additional week to fight in Cardiff, Wales.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the Sky Sports doubleheader that’ll feature the Eubank-Williams and Shields-Kozin contests will be rescheduled for February 5 at Motorpoint Arena in the capital city of Wales. That show, which will be available via FITE.tv outside of the United Kingdom, has been pushed back one week, from January 29 to February 5, because the British Boxing Board of Control recently canceled all January shows in the UK due to growing concerns over COVID-19.
The card headlined by Eubank and Williams first was postponed seven weeks, from December 11 to January 29, reportedly because Williams suffered a shoulder injury during training.
Sky Sports first indicated on its website Tuesday that February 5 is the new date targeted for the show, but that resetting it for the first Saturday night in February is based on approval from the Welsh government.
England’s Eubank (31-2, 23 KOs) figures to encounter his most imposing opponent in more than two years when he battles Wales’ Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs) in their 12-round middleweight match.
Williams will fight for the first time since he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) on April 17 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Eubank beat Armenia’s Wanik Awdijan (28-2, 11 KOs) by technical knockout in his most recent bout, which concluded at the end of the fifth round because Awdijan was hurt by a body shot October 16 at Newcastle Arena in Newcastle, England.
Shields (11-0, 2 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, and Slovenia’s Kozin (21-0-1, 11 KOs) will fight for the IBF, WBA and WBC women’s middleweight titles. The 26-year-old Shields, a former undisputed middleweight champion, will move back up to the 160-pound division from the 154-pound weight class to box Kozin.
If Shields wins, the three-division champion likely will fight rival Savannah Marshall (11-0, 9 KOs) by the end of June.
England’s Marshall, who owns the WBO belt, is the only woman who has defeated Shields in a boxing match. Shields, who lost on points in her second MMA match October 27, hasn’t been beaten in a boxing ring since Marshall out-pointed her, 14-8, in an Olympic qualifying event in May 2012.
Marshall must beat an undetermined opponent in February in Newcastle to maintain her place in this showdown with Shields.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.