24 year old Claressa Shields is currently preparing for a unification bout against Christina Hammer on the 13th of April. The match is being called the fight of the generation and various promoters have lauded it as one which will finally bring attention to the sport of female boxing.
Claressa is the first boxer from the US to win two Olympic gold medals. If she wins the fight on the 13th she will become the second women to reign undisputed in her weight category. Only four men have held this title in the male realm being, Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor. If Shields wins the fight with only eight fights to her name and 27 months as a professional fighter she will surely make her mark in the history books as the most prolific female boxer in the game.
The Flint born boxer is known for her speed and aggression in the ring. She also doesn’t shy away during press conferences and her most recent one in Atlantic City was no exception.
“I’m just glad she’s showing up this time,” the American scoffed, one of many provocations lobbed in her opponent’s direction on the day. “I want to make her quit. I don’t want her to just know I’m a good fighter. I want her to know I’m great.”
With the current state of boxing in the men’s category now is a better time than ever to transcend the women’s division. While Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder chase big money deals, a young woman who is reminiscent of the great Muhammad Ali could be the breath of fresh air that is much needed in the fight game.