Champion boxer Claressa Shields signs deal to enter MMA fights
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Claressa Shields continues to build her legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
The undefeated Flint native is arguably the No. 1 female boxer in the world. But now she wants to make history again.
“I was told at the age of 11 boxing isn’t for girls. I blocked everything out and kept going, now look where we are,” Shields said.
She is the first American boxer to win two Olympic gold medals since turning pro and became the fastest to win a world title in three different divisions. Now she wants her legacy to extend outside the boxing ring into the MMA octagon.
Shields is hoping to become the first woman to win a world title in boxing and mixed martial arts.
“I just want to be a champion in the PFL and in boxing at the same time,” she said. “That’s my ultimate goal. That’s the big picture.”
Shields signed a three-year deal with the Professional Fighters League. She thought about competing in this sport for awhile, so putting pen to paper has turned this dream into a reality.
“The feeling I had is the same feeling I had signing professional boxing. I’m excited. I’m nervous and just so much uncertainty,” Shields said. “When I signed to boxing I never knew I’d fight on TV or be a main event because women didn’t have that platform. The uncertainty with the PFL is how fast can I learn this and who will be my first fight.”
While MMA may be her new focus, boxing is still a top priority. In 2021, Shields hopes to have at least two boxing matches and she will not compete in the PFL traditional format until 2022.
“Boxing is in me. That’s my go to,” she said. “I’d love to do both and be given a fair shot.”
The 25-year-old said the grind to history starts now.
“I just want to keep breaking records,” Shields said. “You only have a small window to be great. The window is not as long as people think. I’m 25 years old and I plan on having a really good career. I want to take advantage and I want to go down in history as one of the best combat fighters ever -- not just in boxing, but MMA too.”
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