No stranger to making history, Claressa Shields further separated herself from the pack with another title fight victory to open her 2021 campaign.
Shields (11-0) pitched a shutout against Marie-Eve Dicaire (17-1) on Friday to claim a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 100-90) and become the undisputed world junior middleweight champion. She entered the contest as the WBC and WBO champion, and added Dicaire’s IBF title and a vacant WBA title to her collection with the victory.
This is the second complete set of world title belts Shields has won after previously claiming middleweight supremacy and she becomes the first boxer in the four-belt era to earn undisputed status in two weight classes. Shields was also the first American boxer to win gold at two consecutive Olympics (London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016).
“90-100, I can’t be mad about it, but she just kept headbutting me and elbowing me,” Shields said post-fight. “I was trying to get the knockout, that’s what I wanted and I almost had it a couple of times, but we got two minutes and then we got the ref breaking up the fight for 30 seconds when she’s holding me and f*cking elbowing me and stuff.
“I’m happy, but I still wanted the KO, I just didn’t have enough time. But at the end of the day I am the new undisputed champion at 154, the first boxer to do it in history, undisputed twice. And I did it here in Flint, Michigan, so to all the people in Flint I love y’all, thank you all for coming.”
Fighting at Dort Financial Center in her hometown of Flint, Mich., Shields walked out to a mashup of Beyonce and DJ Khaled accompanied by a pair of dancers performing elaborate choreography. Shields then proceeded to put on her own show, dominating Dicaire for 10 rounds with a mixture of power, precision, and perfect timing.
Shields was aggressive from the start, but also patient as she figured out how to deal with Dicaire’s unorthodox movement. Early attempts at landing a knockout blow missed, but Shields eventually found a rhythm and from there she pieced Dicaire up for the majority of the fight.
After the middle rounds, Dicaire’s defense was primarily comprised of grabbing and clinching Shields, a tactic that did little to slow Shields down as she pulled away on the scorecards with accurate counters and her power right hand. At the end of 20 minutes of action, there was no question who was the superior boxer.
Shields donned a Professional Fighters League hat during her post-fight interview. The 25-year-old boxing star is currently signed to the PFL and is expected to make her pro MMA debut sometime in 2021.
“We’re looking at the middle of June, I believe Las Vegas, and I think I will be on the card with Anthony Pettis,” Shields said. “Super happy to be doing that, I get to celebrate my birthday March 17 and then it’s right back to the gym to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to train with coach Jackson, coach Wink, Holly Holm, and [Jon Jones], and I’m just ready to show the world that I am the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time).”
Asked about her boxing plans, Shields mentioned that she would consider fighting Katie Taylor, but they’d have to pay her a lot of money (“at least with a million”) to drop down to 147 pounds from 154 pounds. She had stronger words for current WBO middleweight champion Savannah Marshall and Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Savannah Marshall knows she cannot and will not ever be able to f*ck with me,” Shields said. “She can come to America, I can go to the U.K., we can go to Mexico, wherever Savannah Marshall want to go, I will f*ck her up, literally. Literally. She knows that.”
“And tell Eddie Hearn he came with that wack-ass $250,000, tell him he better come with 500K, 750, he wants me to come over there to the U.K. and smoke his girl,” Shields added. “Pay me.”
Friday’s event organized by Shields and Salita Promotions was the first boxing pay-per-view headlined by a women’s bout since June 8, 2001, when Laila Ali fought Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.
A replay of the Shields-Dicaire event is available on FITE TV pay-per-view.