She’s the only boxer, male or female to unify two weight divisions in the four belt era
Byline: Khalil Alam
Women having been boxing since the 18th century and we had the first women to enter the Olympics in 1904.
However, it was not until 1988 that women’s professional boxing was officially sanctioned with Sweden being the first country to allow this to happen. It then took a further 10 years until United Kingdom’s British Board of Control issued women boxer’s professional licences to box.
Claressa Shields (also known as T-Rex) who hails from Michigan in the US and is America’s first and only female boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals has recently became the middleweight undisputed world champion by defeating the previously undefeated Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision.
Shields has dominated all her previous professional boxing opponents since her debut on 19th November 2016 and now has a record of 11 straight wins (11-0, 2 KOs). She holds the WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF world titles and has previously unified the belts at middleweight where she beat the talented Christina Hammer in a similar one sided contest.
Shields is now the only boxer, male or female to unify two weight divisions in the four belt era making her possibly one of the greatest boxers of all time.
After the contest with Dicaire, Shields made it clear that having won and made it look easy she still wanted to do more to impress and was hoping to get a knockout win, but did not have enough time in the contest to do it.
Due to the pandemic, Shields and her team struggled to make the contest with Dicaire and had to eventually opt to making their own Pay-Per-View event to secure the contest on an all women boxing show. However, the delay in the contest did not affect Shield as she controlled the fight with her signature left hooks throughout the contest.
As a boxing coach, I was impressed with Shield’s boxing skills as she used her footwork to get in out of range and position herself correctly to land her power shots and using her left jab as a range finder she followed up the same lead hand punch to the body with accuracy and precision (something I will be teaching my boxers at the Lion Gym).
Having accomplished to win in two divisions, Shields said she now hopes to become a star in MMA (mixed martial arts) and will be making her debut later in the year setting her up for an eventual mega-money and mouth-watering fight with two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes. In regards to boxing, shields still can have possible lucrative match-ups with UK’s Katie Taylor at 147 pounds but it is unlikely that Taylor will drop weight to make that fight happen.
Having spoken to Match room Boxing recently we have learned that Britain’s Savannah Marshall who once boxed and beat Shields in their early Amateur boxing careers, is in talks to face Shield in a two fight deal with one match up taking place in America and the next one in the UK.
Shield’s hopes that women boxers are judged in equal terms to male boxers and the sexism she has experienced in the past is finally eradicated.
“These men are fighting for multiple millions that haven’t accomplished half of what I accomplished, but I’m supposed to just be happy?” she said. “Like yeah, go ahead and pay me $300K and then offer me $150,000 for the next fight?”
In regards to doing MMA as well as boxing Shield’s commented “It’s certainly a lot to juggle, but it’s all in the name of achieving my ultimate goal: becoming the first fighter ever to hold major boxing and MMA titles concurrently.”