Feature | Apr 12 2019

Claressa Shields: ‘Don’t be fake for nobody’

Ahead of her battle for the undisputed middleweight crown Claressa Shields declares, 'I'm going to be the kind of world champion that I want to be. I'm not trying to be like nobody else'
Shields-Habazin weigh in

UNDISPUTED champions in boxing are a rare breed. Cecilia Braekhus has unified all the welterweight titles, the magnificent Oleksandr Usyk did so at cruiserweight and the winner of the Claressa Shields vs Christina Hammer clash will do so at middleweight when they fight on Saturday (April 13) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Hammer, unbeaten in 25 professional contests, holds the WBO middleweight crown. Shields, who has had only eight pro bouts, has already won two world titles at super-middle and already has the WBC, WBC and IBF middleweight titles. When you consider the two Olympic gold medals the American has already won, she is a special fighter. Her own description: “A word for myself, destroyer.”

Shields knows that this bout, scheduled for 10 two-minute rounds, could be her most important yet. “Right now we are one and two of the top boxers at middleweight. So for us to have this fight, for her to be completely healthy and me be completely healthy and she’s 28 and I’m 24, this is a great fight to be made right now,” Claressa said. “When you’re saying I’m the greatest of all time I can beat any kind of fighter – a fighter that moves, a fighter who’s standing there, a fighter who can do both. Being the greatest woman of all time comes with being able to win those fights that people say that you can’t win. She’s 24-0 11 knockouts. I’m 8-0 with 2 knockouts.