Claressa Shields: Boxing champion on Flint, food, and being the ‘finest female’
Bold possibly, however there’s plenty of assisting evidence at the back of the braggadocio of Shields, whose nickname is “T-Rex.”
In April, she have become the world’s undisputed middleweight champion after defeating Germany’s Christina Hammer in Atlantic City.
Shields is handiest the second one girl after Cecilia Brækhus to hold the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO belts in a unmarried weight category, and simply the sixth person ever. None, but, did it as speedy as Shields, who reached the pinnacle of her sport in only nine fights.
“There’s now not a girl in this international which can beat me if we put on a couple of gloves and we combat. I’ve accomplished so much,” Shields, who also won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, tells CNN.
“I’m simply the undisputed champion — I am awesome as I think I am and I’ve been able to show it by means of taking on those massive demanding situations and beating those girls who they say can’t be crushed.”
Of her nine professional victories, Shields has won two through knockout and the relaxation by way of unanimous choice. In defeating Hammer, she conquered her toughest opponent to date, an undefeated fighter with 11 knockouts to her name.
‘Make your personal life’
To gain her contemporary status, Shields has had to overcome formidable problem. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, a city beset by means of economic issues that became the subject of international headlines following the water disaster of 2012.
She has spread out about the sexual abuse she suffered from the age of five, and how it was thru her father, himself an newbie boxer, that she become stimulated to take in the sport as a younger lady.
Claressa Shields speaks onstage at The Women’s Sports Foundation’s 39th Annual Salute To Women In Sports And The Girls They Inspire Awards Gala in October 2018.
For many of the human beings in Flint, Shields is a image of hope.
“I’m simply happy that I’m someone who is robust sufficient to make it after which strong enough to speak on it,” says Shields, who is the first American to win two Olympic gold medals in boxing.
“[I want] to permit the ones recognise who’re going via the identical thing or something similar, that you don’t permit the abuser, or you don’t allow the folks who hurt you, win. You just remain fantastic and you are making your very own lifestyles.
“I grew up on North Saginaw, the north facet of Flint, that is considered the worst part and I turned into able to make it; I become able to make it by using just making clever choices from a completely younger age.
“I tell all kids and the women growing up which you manipulate your personal life, you manage your future — not where you are born, now not who your parents are.”
Shields has never shied away from speaking her thoughts, and vows, outside and inside the hoop, to maintain preventing for what she believes in.
It’s an mind-set she says she’s inherited from boxing awesome Muhammad Ali, who was famously suspended for 3 years after protesting against the Vietnam battle. Shields, in the meantime, desires to use her voice to promote ladies’s boxing, which only received Olympic reputation in 2012.
“I love boxing, I love preventing, I love hurting humans in the ring. That’s what I like to do and when I first started out boxing, they were pronouncing that girls can’t speak like that,” she says.
“I consider that women should have equal rights, same pay, same merchandising and that we need to be handled pretty.
“I’m lots more outspoken than all of the other ladies in boxing and I simply attempt to back up my phrase with my action and then with any luck pass the game ahead and simply get us to wherein tennis is. With girls’s tennis and guys’s tennis it is form of same, so I need to get back into the same vicinity.”
Diet of a champion
Shields admits that doubts get up ahead of big fights, but has faith her rigorous schooling regime will come proper in the end.
“Whatever is the worst aspect which can happen, I think about it and I just do the whole thing in my power to now not make it happen,” says Shields.
“I recognize that the doubt is there, but the doubt gets erased in schooling camp … It receives erased after I recognize I’m busting my butt in camp.”