Claressa Maria Shields (born March 17, 1995) is an American professional boxer. She has held multiple world championships in two weight classes, and has reigned as the undisputed female middleweight champion of the world since April 2019; previously she held the unified WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles from 2017 to 2018. Shields currently holds the record for becoming a two-weight world champion in the fewest professional fights, moving back down to middleweight to capture the vacant WBA and inaugural IBF titles in only her sixth professional fight. She is promoted by former title challenger Dmitry Salita.
Shields with her Olympic gold medal in 2012
|Born||Claressa Maria Shields|
March 17, 1995
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Residence||Flint, Michigan, U.S.|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Reach||68 in (173 cm)|
|Trainer||John David Jackson|
|Professional boxing record|
|Boxing record from BoxRec|
Shields is one of only seven boxers in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles in boxing—WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO—simultaneously, along with Bernard Hopkins (2004–2005), Jermain Taylor (2005), Cecilia Brækhus (2014–), Terence Crawford (2017), Oleksandr Usyk (2018–2019), and Katie Taylor (2019–).
In a decorated amateur career, Shields won gold medals in the women's middleweight division at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, making her the first American boxer—female or male—to win consecutive Olympic medals. Beating Caitlin Parker, the current Commonwealth silver medalist in an Olympic war.  Shields was the youngest boxer at the February 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, winning the event in the 165 lb (75 kg) middleweight division. In May, she qualified for the 2012 games, the first year in which women's boxing was an Olympic event, and went on to become the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. In 2018, the Boxing Writers Association of America named her the Female Fighter of the Year.
Shields was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, where she was a high school junior in May 2012. She was introduced to boxing by her father, Bo Shields, who had boxed in underground leagues. Bo was in prison from the time Shields was two years old, and released when she was nine. After his release he talked to her about boxer Laila Ali, piquing her interest in the sport, although Bo nevertheless believed that boxing was a men's sport and refused to allow Shields to pursue it until she was eleven. At that time she began boxing, often to the dismay of the Beary-Hands, at Berston Field House in Flint, where she met her coach and trainer, Jason Crutchfield. Shields credits her grandmother with encouraging her to not accept restrictions based on her gender.
After winning two Junior Olympic championships, Shields competed in her first open-division tournament, the National Police Athletic League Championships 2011; she won the middleweight title and was named top overall fighter and also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, she defeated the reigning national champion, Franchon Crews, the 2010 world champion, Andrecia Wasson, and Pittsburgh's Tika Hemingway to win the middleweight class. In April 2011, she won her weight class at the Women's Elite Continental Championships in Cornwall, Ontario against three-time defending world champion Mary Spencer of Canada; she held an undefeated record of 25 wins and 0 losses at that point.
Following Shields' victory at the U.S. Olympic Trials, it was initially reported that she would need only a top-8 finish at the 2012 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. On May 10, the day after the contest began but before Shields' first bout, a change to the rules was announced that meant Shields would need to place in the top two from the (North, Central, and South) American Boxing Confederation region of AIBA (AMBC). Shields won her first round, but suffered an upset loss in the second round on May 13 to Savannah Marshall of England, bringing Shields' record to 26-1. Her chances for qualification thus depended on Marshall's subsequent performance; after Marshall advanced to the middleweight finals on May 18, it was announced that Shields had earned an Olympic berth. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won the gold medal in the women's middleweight division after beating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova 19–12.
Shields won the gold medal at the 2016 AMBC Olympic Qualifying tournament in Argentina. Later that year at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, she won the gold medal in the women's middleweight division by defeating Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands. She was the only gold medalist from the American team and was awarded the inaugural women's division of the Val Barker Trophy at the competition. Her back-to-back Olympic gold medal wins made her the first American boxer—female or male—to win consecutive Olympic titles.
In November 2016, Shields officially went pro. She won her first match, against Franchon Crews, by unanimous decision.
On March 10, 2017, she faced Szilvia Szabados for the North American Boxing Federation middleweight title, and won. This was the main event on ShoBox, with a regional title fight between Antonio Nieves and Nikolai Potapov serving as the co-main event. It was the first time a women's boxing bout was the main event on a United States premium network card.
On June 16, 2017, Shields headlined the "Detroit Brawl," facing Sydney LeBlanc in her first scheduled eight-round bout. LeBlanc signed on with three days notice, after Mery Rancier dropped out due to visa issues. Shields won the bout by decision after all eight rounds.
On January 12, 2018, Shields retained her WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles, and won the WBAN super-middleweight title by defeating 17-0 Tori Nelson. It was Shields' first time going all 10 rounds in her professional career.
On June 22, 2018, in just her sixth professional fight, Shields defeated Hanna Gabriel by unanimous decision, winning the vacant WBA and inaugural IBF middleweight belts, breaking the record for becoming a two-weight world champion in the fewest professional fights, a record previously held by Vasyl Lomachenko. During Round 1, she experienced the first knock down of her professional career. She dropped down from 168 pounds to 160 for the fight. This was her first fight with trainer John David Jackson, having worked with Jason Crutchfield for the previous 5.
On April 13, 2019, Shields became the undisputed women's middleweight world champion, unifying the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO middleweight titles, along with The Ring magazine's inaugural middleweight belt, after defeating Christina Hammer by unanimous decision. The victory was a near shutout with two judges scoring the bout 98-91 while a third judge scored it 98-92.
While growing up in Flint, Michigan, Shields was sexually abused by her mother's boyfriends. Shields was baptized at age 13 (two years after she began boxing) and began attending a local church. She found strength in her Christian faith and eventually left home.
Shields attempted to adopt her cousin's daughter in 2014.
Shields is an ambassador for Up2Us Sports, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved youth by providing them with coaches trained in positive youth development.
Shields is the subject of the 2015 documentary "T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold." In 2016 Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast, which holds Olympic broadcast rights in the United States, acquired the rights to produce a film about her life story. Barry Jenkins is the screenwriter.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|9 fights||9 wins||0 losses|
|10||N/A||N/A||Ivana Habazin||N/A||– (10)||Oct 5, 2019||Dort Federal Event Center, Flint, Michigan, U.S.||For vacant WBC Diamond and WBO junior middleweight titles|
|9||Win||9–0||Christina Hammer||UD||10||Apr 13, 2019||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBA, WBC, and IBF female middleweight titles;|
Won WBO, and inaugural The Ring female middleweight titles
|8||Win||8–0||Femke Hermans||UD||10||Dec 8, 2018||StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S.||Retained WBA, WBC, and IBF female middleweight titles|
|7||Win||7–0||Hannah Rankin||UD||10||Nov 17, 2018||Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane, Kansas, U.S.||Retained WBA and IBF female middleweight titles;|
Won vacant WBC female middleweight title
|6||Win||6–0||Hanna Gabriel||UD||10||Jun 22, 2018||Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won vacant WBA and inaugural IBF female middleweight titles|
|5||Win||5–0||Tori Nelson||UD||10||Jan 12, 2018||Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles;|
Won WBAN super middleweight title
|4||Win||4–0||Nikki Adler||TKO||5 (10), 1:34||Aug 4, 2017||MGM Grand, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won WBC and inaugural IBF female super middleweight titles|
|3||Win||3–0||Sydney LeBlanc||UD||8||Jun 16, 2017||Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won vacant WBC Silver female super middleweight title|
|2||Win||2–0||Szilvia Szabados||TKO||4 (6), 1:30||Mar 10, 2017||MGM Grand, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won vacant NABF female middleweight title|
|1||Win||1–0||Franchon Crews||UD||4||Nov 19, 2016||T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Professional debut|
- Chappell, Bill. "Claressa Maria Shields of the U.S. celebrates her gold medal win over Nouchka Fontijn" npr.org, August 21, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- Showtime Championship Boxing tale of the tape prior to the Christina Hammer fight.
- "Boxer Claressa Shields could be Olympic teen star." Associated Press, February 17, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Claressa Shields becomes undisputed women's middleweight champion of world".
- Raskin, Alex (May 12, 2017). "Claressa Shields on Conquering The Pros, Hobnobbing With Celebrities, and Drinking Bottled Water in Flint". Vice. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- "Claressa Shields Successfully Defends Her Olympic Title".
- O'Riordan, Ian. "Women's boxing – in a New Yorker state of mind." IrishTimes.com, May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Claressa Shields determined to make London Olympics." USA Today, May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields takes next step toward Olympics on Friday."[permanent dead link] Detroit Free Press, May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields, 17, qualifies for Olympics." Detroit Free Press, May 18, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Maese, Rick (August 12, 2012). "Claressa Shields wins only gold medal for U.S. boxing at London Olympics, and the first by a woman". Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Parish, Christopher. "A fighting chance." ESPNHS.com, May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Claressa Shields: From poverty & abuse to boxing greatness". BBC Sport. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
- "Straight Out of Flint: Girl Boxer Aims for Olympics." NPR, February 27, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Blanchette, John. "Spotlight finds teen." The Spokesman-Review, February 14, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Flint teen aims to be 1 of the first female boxers at Olympics."[permanent dead link] WDIV, April 18, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields' path to Olympics changes course." Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Woodyard, Eric. "First amateur loss frustrates Flint boxer Claressa Shields, she expected a victory." Flint Journal, May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Olympics boxing: Claressa Shields takes middleweight gold for USA". bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Zaccardi, Nick (November 20, 2014). "Claressa Shields wins first World Championships bout in 11 seconds (video)". Olympics.nbcsports.com.
- "Flint's Claressa Shields to serve as flag bearer at Pan-Am close". Detroitnews.com.
- "Flint boxer Claressa Shields wins gold at 2016 Americas Qualifier in Argentina". Mlive.com.
- "Golden again! Flint's Claressa Shields defends Olympic boxing title". Freep.com. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Zaccardi, Nick (July 24, 2015). "Claressa Shields: I would fight Ronda Rousey". Olympics.nbcsports.com.
- "Hundreds attend Flint premiere of Claressa Shields 'T-Rex' documentary". Mlive.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Niyo: Flint's Claressa Shields fighting for her future". Detroitnews.com.
- Coppinger, Mike (November 19, 2016). "Flint's Claressa Shields wins easily in pro boxing debut in Las Vegas". Freep.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Baca, Michael (June 20, 2014). "Antonio Nieves and Nikolai Potapov to clash March 10, on 'ShoBox' - The Ring". Ringtv.com. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- 12:33 PM ET. "Claressa Shields returns home to headline ShoBox event". Espn.com. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- "Claressa Shields knocks 'em off their feet, wins first pro title". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Former Olympian Shields to face LeBlanc". ESPN.com. June 14, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Shields to fight Rancier in June in Detroit". ESPN.com. May 6, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Flint's Claressa Shields claims WBC Silver belt in Detroit Brawl". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Pugmire, Lance. "Olympic champion Claressa Shields nabs title shot in fourth pro bout". latimes.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Eschen, Thomas (January 13, 2018). "Claressa Shields goes 10 rounds for the first time, but still dominates". WEYI. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Latest News Story on WBAN". www.womenboxing.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Shields-Nelson fight for WBAN belt this Fri". Box<refingnews24.com. January 9, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Lomachenko stops Linares with 10th-round TKO". ESPN.com. May 13, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- "Boxing News: Claressa Shields Training Camp Notes » April 22, 2019". Fightnews.com. May 31, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Claressa Shields knocked down, but fights back to beat Hanna Gabriels". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Shields Opener Draws Peak Audience In Last HBO Boxing Card". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Shields beats up Hammer, wins undisputed title". ESPN.com. April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Four to watch: With faith, these Olympians run the races set before them". World.wng.com. October 6, 2016.
- "With her life in order, Claressa Shields has eye on second Olympic gold in Rio". World Magazine. October 25, 2015. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016.
- "Documentary about Claressa Shields comes to Flint Institute of Arts". ABC 12. August 4, 2015. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "T-Rex". IMDb.com. June 24, 2016.
- "T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold - Documentary about Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields - Independent Lens - PBS". Pbs.org.
- Niyo, John (August 3, 2016). "Niyo: Flint's Claressa Shields fighting for her future". The Detroit News. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (October 7, 2016). "'Moonlight's Barry Jenkins To Script Story Of First American Female Gold Medal Boxer Claressa 'T-Rex' Shields". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Eric Woodyard | email@example.com. "Looking ahead to what's next for Claressa Shields". MLive.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Acosta, Roberto (March 5, 2018). "Flint's Claressa Shields takes swing at acting in Walmart ad". mlive.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Wills, Cortney (March 3, 2018). "WATCH: 'Mudbound' director, Dee Rees teams with Walmart to provide a shot for female filmmakers". Thegrio.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "Claressa Shields wins Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award for 'Biggest Powerhouse.'". Worldboxingnews.net. July 17, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "USA Boxing Alumni Association announces Hall of Fame Class of 2018". Team USA. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Professional boxing record for Claressa Shields from BoxRec
- Claressa Shields profile at TeamUSA
- America's Boxing Women Aim for the Olympics at The New York Times
- T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold on IMDb
|Regional boxing titles|
|Inaugural champion|| NABF female
March 10, 2017 – August 2017
|New title|| WBC Silver female|
super middleweight champion
June 16, 2017 – August 4, 2017
Won world title
|World boxing titles|
| WBC female
super middleweight champion
August 4, 2017 – September 2018
Title next held byFranchon Crews Dezurn
|Inaugural champion|| IBF female
super middleweight champion
August 4, 2017 – June 2018
Title next held byElin Cederroos
Title last held byTeresa Perozzi
| WBA female
June 22, 2018 – present
|Inaugural champion|| IBF female|
June 22, 2018 – present
Title last held byChristina Hammer
| WBC female|
November 17, 2018 – present
| WBO female|
April 13, 2019 – present
|Inaugural champion|| The Ring female|
April 13, 2019 – present
| Undisputed female|
April 13, 2019 – present
| BWAA Female Fighter of the Year