Earlier today, the junior middleweight title fight between Ivana Habazin and Claressa Shields on Saturday was called off after James Ali Bashir, who is Habazin’s trainer, was hit by an unknown individual and knocked unconscious at Friday’s weigh-in.
The person in question fled the scene, which took place at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan.
The bout between Habazin (20-3-0, 7 KOs) and Shields (9-0-0, 2 KOs) was scheduled to happen on Saturday night. It was one of three fights out of eight that was supposed to be aired by Showtime (9 p.m. ET Saturday), but now according to ESPN.com, there will only be two.
The remaining seven fights will continue as scheduled.
A video featured on FightHype.com displays Bashir in a verbal altercation with an unknown individual. It is also unknown if the individual involved is the same person who later attacked Bashir. According to witnesses, Bashir was knocked unconscious for approximately 20 minutes per ESPN. Before he left the venue on a stretcher and brought to McLaren Medical Center. Bashir was bleeding from his head after hitting the floor.
In the video, Bashir tells the unidentified individual to back up out of his face. Later, Bashir stated the individual “Better sit your monkey a** down before you get slapped. You ain’t no man you better stay in a women’s place.”
Shields’ manager Mark Taffet shared he was en route to the hospital when reached by mlive.com.
“Right now, I am on my way to the hospital to visit Ivana Habazin and her team and her trainer,” said Mark Taffet, Shields’ manager and the former head of HBO Boxing’s pay-per-view division. “I want to make sure they’re OK.
“We want to make sure they get the best proper treatment, and it’s unfair to assess or address anything until we make sure first that her trainer is fine and that’s she’s calm and comfortable. After that, we will the address the situation.”
World Boxing Council weighs-in on the altercation at Friday’s weigh-in
“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,” stated José Antonio Arreola Sulaimán of the World Boxing Council.
“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.”
According to Heavy’s Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, someone shared with him earlier this evening that Ivana Habazin is “scared for her life,” after her trainer Ali Bashir was knocked out. Robinson was also told that Shields is disappointed that the fight was called off, and will be releasing a statement on Saturday.