Claressa Shields has left a path of destruction behind her in her short three-year career as a professional boxer, racking up nine straight wins en route to collecting the women’s WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF middleweight titles.
She also has an Olympic gold medal on her resume.
So you can’t blame her for having high confidence in her abilities, even when it comes to facing a male pugilist inside the ring. To hear Shields tell it, she can defeat some of the best boxers in the game today, if given the opportunity.
“I spar with men. And, I mean, I drop men. I bust men’s noses. I beat men up all the time,” said Shields in an interview with TMZ Sports. “If I was to say which is the guy, I think I could beat, I think I could beat up Keith Thurman. I really do.”
“I think I could beat up Keith Thurman, even though they’re like ‘oh, he beat Shawn Porter.’ I think I can beat Shawn Porter too, you know, skill-wise and just strength-wise. I think they may be stronger than me, but their boxing ability isn’t like mine.”
Sure, Shields has sparred with men, but a sanctioned fight between a man and woman will never be — and should never be — sanctioned. But there are some male boxing champions who feel Claressa can do well against a man, as long as he isn’t the cream of the crop in the boxing arena.
Case in point, current WBO Welterweight champion Terrence Crawford is confident in saying Shields can “do well” against someone who isn’t too experienced as a pro boxer, such as former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champ-champ, Conor McGregor.
“She’s confident in her ability and her skills, but that’s pretty much what she’s saying,” Crawford also told TMZ Sports. “I don’t think she’d really want to be in the ring with those fighters that she called out,” he added.
“But at the same time, it just tells you that she’s so dominant in the female boxing world that she needs a man to fight. But I don’t believe she would actually step foot in the ring with those guys. She’s very confident, and it shows in the ring.”
“Man, I’m gonna tell you this. Claressa’s been getting in the ring, sparring men since I’ve known her,” Crawford said. “I feel like she could get in the ring and give anybody problems. I don’t know. Conor McGregor is a man, but at the same time, she would do well against him.”
“Notorious” only has one pro boxing fight to his name, and it’s a pretty big one, as he went 10 rounds with Floyd Mayweather — the former pound-for-pound best boxer on the planet — a few short years ago. Of course, Mayweather’s experience ultimately helped him score a tecchnical knockout win in round number ten.
Anyone care to chime in on Claressa’s chances in a boxing match against McGregor?