TWO-TIME Olympic champion Claressa Shields intends to shatter misconceptions about women’s boxing as she prepares to make history tonight.
In her second fight since turning professional, Shields faces former world title challenger Szilvia Szabados in the first women’s boxing event in US premium television history, with Showtime broadcasting her in the main event.
After weighing in yesterday, Shields is raring to go for the event at the MGM Grand Detroit in Michigan, less than an hour from her home in Flint.
“This is my hometown fight. I last fought in Michigan three years ago. I’m going to showcase my skills on Showtime,” she said.
“I’m embracing all of this. I grew up and heard when I was young that women can’t fight. I’m ready to show everyone just how wrong that is on Friday night.”
With fellow amateur standouts Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams also recently turning professional, women’s boxing is on an upswing.
Shields is aware of the female trailblazers that have come before her, but intends to carve out her own path in boxing.
“I know about Laila Ali, and Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, and I don’t box like any of them. I have my own unique style. I’ve never seen a female fighter like myself. I want to carry the sport,” she said.
“The boxers I like and study are Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Floyd Mayweather. Those are my favorites. And you can even throw Sugar Ray Leonard in there, too.
“I’m going to be aggressive. I’m not going to be nervous and I’m not going to freeze up. I’m going to go right out there and hit her in the face with a right hand.”