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Shields of Gold: How to unify three weight classes in 10 fights, by Claressa Shields.

Claressa Shields
Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Last weekend Claressa Shields, a two-time Olympic champion, defeated Ivana Habazin to unify her third weight class, doing so in just 10 fights. This is how

1. Franchon Crews Dezurn

Shields, a two-time Olympic champion, makes her professional bow in November 2016 against fellow debutant Franchon Crews Dezurn. The fight in Las Vegas goes the full four rounds and Shields wins every one of them.

2. Szilvia Szabados

Shields meets Szabados in what is her first title fight in March 2017. It’s for the lightly regarded and vacant NABF female middleweight title and is a fight Shields wins by stoppage in the fourth round.

3. Sydney LeBlanc

Not only is this Shields’ first eight-rounder as a pro but LeBlanc manages to extend her the distance. Shields takes every round, of course, but is made to work for her WBC silver super-middleweight title and gains the necessary rounds to set her up for her first world title shot.

4. Nikki Adler

Shields’ first stab at gold arrives in August 2017 when she battles Adler over 10 rounds for WBC and IBF super-middleweight belts. Adler is undefeated in 16 pro fights going in but still no match for Shields, who stops her inside five rounds.

5. Tori Nelson

This January 2018 fight sees Shields successfully defend both her WBC and IBF titles against Nelson but have to go the full 10 rounds for the first time as a pro. Nelson, like Adler before her, is unbeaten but fails to win even a round against Shields.

Shields and Nelson trade inside

6. Hanna Gabriels

Just when it all seems to be getting too easy for Shields, she slugs away with Gabriels in June 2018 and finds herself decked for the first time as a pro in round one. She gets up, of course, and rallies back to win, but this drop down to middleweight, where she won vacant WBA and IBF titles, comes with a warning.

7. Hannah Rankin

Scotland’s Rankin is next up for Shields in November 2018 and this time there are three middleweight belts on the line, the vacant WBC crown having been added to the WBA and IBF belts Shields won against Gabriels. Despite a plucky effort, however, and despite going the distance, Rankin doesn’t win a round.

8. Femke Hermans

In another distance fight for three middleweight titles, Shields whitewashes Hermans in December 2018, less than a month after beating Rankin, and barely gets out of first gear.

9. Christina Hammer

In April 2019, Shields and Hammer collide for all the middleweight marbles, that is, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. True to form, Shields proves her superiority over the 10 rounds shared, winning near enough all of them and taking home four world titles.

10. Ivana Habazin

Now at super-welterweight, Shields has seemingly retained the dominance she showed as a middleweight and super-middleweight and starts her reign with a 10-round thrashing of Habazin to take the vacant WBC and WBO titles.

Claressa Shields
Shields trades with Hammer (Stephanie Trapp/Showtime)

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