Shields’ scheduled 154-pound title fight against Ivana Habazin was canceled Friday because Habazin’s trainer was assaulted at their weigh-in. The two fighters had not yet weighed in before James Ali Bashir, Habazin’s veteran trainer, was sucker-punched from behind by an unidentified assailant.
The incident took place Friday at the Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Michigan. The assailant punched James Ali Bashir, leaving him bloodied on the floor. The assailant probably is a member from Shields’ team. Before the incident Habazin’s trainer, Bashir and Shields’ sister were exchanged some trash words.
Bashir later confirmed through his Twitter account that he would undergo emergency surgery in Detroit to repair facial fractures sustained during the incident.
Habazin understandably declined to remain in the fight with the american fighter because her injured trainer wouldn’t have been able to work her corner. Without her trainer, and emotionally distressed, Habazin withdrew from the fight.
The fight was to be the Shields’ attempt at winning world titles in the third weight class after reigning at 160 and 168 pounds previously.
(Sources: BoxingScene, The Ring magazine)