FLINT (WJRT) (04/16/2019) - The champ is back.
Flint's very own Claressa Shields returned to Flint on Tuesday with a new title.
At just 24 years of age, Shields is now the undisputed middleweight women's world boxing champion after winning Saturday's fight in Atlantic City.
Three nights earlier, the eyes of the boxing world were focused on the fight in New Jersey between the Flint native and German Christina Hammer.
Shields dominated during the two 10-minute rounds, becoming just the second undisputed champion in women's boxing history. She returned to Flint on Tuesday evening with a lot of hardware in tow.
In addition to the Pink WBC belt she and Hammer fought for, Shields is the first woman ever awarded the "Ring Magazine Belt," also called the Muhammad Ali belt.
"It's something I knew I could do," Shields said, "I just didn't know how fast it could happen."
She earned the title of undisputed champion in just nine fights, a feat she doesn't take lightly:
"I just thank everybody for their prayers and good luck wishes," Shields said. "We did it and I felt like I did a great job of representing Flint."
Shields worked hard for it, going to training camp for six weeks on a very strict diet with just brown rice and grilled foods. She said there was also a lot of cardio, including running, jogging, and punching the bag.
It paid off. She made the 160-pound weight limit with 0.6 pounds to spare.
Shields' message to other young girls is to not worry about what other people think, especially in regards to boxing.
"Well I just tell everybody like don't be afraid to be different, follow your heart," she said. "Being happy is for everybody, not just the men, so if you want to do something, go out there and do it."
As for what's next, Shields said she doesn't know who she wants to fight next yet.
As for the film that's going to be made about her life, she said she wants to play her own stunt double--and wants actress Nafessa Williams to play the lead.