Undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields will be back in action on Friday. The 24-year-old Olympic gold medalist faces Ivana Habazin for the vacant 154lb WBC and WBO belts on January 10 in Atlantic City. With a win Shields will have become a three-weight world champion quicker than any other fighter in history. At 100/1 on to get the victory it would be considered by most quite an upset if she didn’t claim that prize. She is on the right track to becoming one of the greatest female fighters of all time in terms of achievements. The question is who can stop her?
After unifying the belts against Christina Hammer, Shields called out British fighter Savannah Marshall. The pair have a history dating back to 2012. An exemplary fighter Shields has lost just once in her 73-fight amateur and professional boxing career. That loss came against Marshall, who out-pointed the American on her way to becoming a world champion. Marshall is confident of repeating history when they meet again. This is certainly the next big test that Shields will face. Hopefully we’ll get to see these two square off in 2020.
Unbeaten Norwegian Cecilia Braekhus is one of the biggest stars in women’s boxing. At 36-0 she is a vastly more experienced fighter than Shields and would carry that advantage into a potential fight. Right now, she is the undisputed champion at 147lbs. With Shields stepping down to 154lbs only one weight division separates the two fighters. There is no reason this fight can’t happen this year in 2020. It would be an epic clash between two of the best fighters in the world. A true test of both their claims of being the GWOAT.
The reality is, the unified middleweight champion may struggle to be challenged inside a boxing ring. She is simply too big, powerful and talented. As of late Shields has been talking up a potential move to mixed martial arts. Following in the footsteps of Holly Holm, Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano she may need to move into another sport before she is truly tested. Amanda Nunes is the fighter she has set her sights on, as the dual-weight UFC champion currently dominates women’s MMA. A boxing match between the pair has also been touted, as they look to replicate the success of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor. Keep your eye on this unlikely rivalry, which could see Claressa Shields shift sports in the coming months or years.
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