AMERICAN middleweight Claressa Shields came through the best bout of the Women’s World championships, beating the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn in the 75kgs final. The Dutch boxer moved well and hit with power, catching Shields cleanly in the second round. But Claressa’s confidence grew throughout the contest. She dropped her hands low, but still threw punches quick enough to catch Nouchka with hurtful shots. She hammered the right down in the last round, rocking Fontijn back and winning by unanimous decision.
Speaking at the Barys Arena in Astana after winning the World gold medal, Shields, the reigning Olympic gold medallist, said, “I had a really good experienced opponent and I was so excited because I wanted to fight her two years ago, in the 2014 Worlds in South Korea but she lost to China and this tournament she showed up, she did her thing and she made it to me in the finals. She was a really good fighter. I have a lot of respect for her. She’s great.
“She’s definitely one of the strongest girls in my weight, besides myself. She could hit. She was strong. She wasn’t stronger than me but she was strong.”