[Image credit: Stephanie Trapp]
Claressa Shields' vacant WBO Super-Welterweight super-fight against Ivana Habazin on Saturday (October 5th) has become even more important after the WBC sanctioned it for their female 154lb belt.
It’s a potential history-making fight for Shields, who in only her tenth contest will be looking to become the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to be crowned a three-division World Champion.
The current record is held by Vasyl Lomachenko, who reached the amazing landmark in just 12 professional outings.
Adding to proceedings, this is Shields' first professional fight in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, and she will be desperate to put on a show against her Croatian rival, live on BoxNation.
Claressa, who won her first World Title at Super-Middleweight and then became undisputed Middleweight Champion, said: “I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before, but it’s not where it needs to be yet.
“I think that my performances are getting better and better and everything I do outside of boxing is helping to build me up as well.
“I just want to get better every fight. And I want to make sure that I show even more of everything that I did against Christina Hammer. That’s been my mentality since the amateurs.”
Is @Claressashields the GWOAT?— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) September 30, 2019
✅ 77-1 amateur record
✅ Double Olympic gold medallist
✅ 9-0 (2 KOs) as a pro
✅ Unified Super-Middleweight Champion after four fights
✅ Undisputed Middleweight Champion after nine fights
🔜 Bids to become three-weight World Champion on Saturday pic.twitter.com/HrlmoOp370
She isn’t just bidding to become the fastest fighter in history to conquer three divisions, but also the first to do it while going down in weight.
But she insists making 154lb is not troubling her even though she was almost a stone heavier when she launched her professional career in 2017, after winning gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
“I’ve been fighting for 13 years and I’ve never missed weight once. If you have a fight at a certain weight class, you come on weight. That’s just protocol. You do what you have to do. I’m still drinking my water and eating. I’m not starving myself to make weight,” Shields explained.
“It’s important every time to look better than my last fight. That’s just my mentality so that I keep myself from doing too much but also doing enough.
“I looked superb in my last fight, and I showed people that I’m a complete fighter. And I can’t show less than that on Saturday. To me, that means I have to get the knockout.”