Claressa Shields made boxing history last Friday night (March 5), defeating IBF Super Welterweight Champion Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to become the first pugilist in history — male or female — to simultaneously hold undisputed world titles in two separate weight classes.
“T-Rex” retained her WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles while capturing Dicaire’s IBF crown, along with the vacant WBA strap. Their headlining affair topped a historic all-women’s pay-per-view (PPV) fight card from inside Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan.
This creates a unique challenge for Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, who at age 25 has already cleaned out both divisions. She wants to compete and continue to define her legacy as the greatest female boxer of all time, but the offers have been less than lucrative, to say the least.
One of the names being bandied about is longtime rival Savannah Marshall.
“She’s scared of me,” Shields said after toppling Dicaire. “I’ve been wanting smoke for years. Savannah Marshall can get it. Tell Eddie Hearn, he came with that wack-ass $250,000, he better come with $500K, $750K if he wants me to come over there and smoke his girl.”
Marshall beat Shields on the amateur circuit when “T-Rex” was just 17.
“If you wanna blow about you beating me eight points to 14, come on now,” Shields continued. “Then you let me become champion in three different weight classes and you’re pro? Make it make sense. Savannah Marshall knows she cannot and will not ever be able to fuck with me. She can come to America, I can go to the UK, we can go to Mexico, wherever Savannah Marshall wants to go, I will fuck her up. Literally. She knows that.”
There’s also been talk of having Shields battle undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor at 147 pounds, a super fight — with a super price tag — that would require “T-Rex” to drop a considerable amount of weight, while also asking the Irish slugger to pack on some extra pounds.
“Katie Taylor is not the worry,” Shields said. “147 pounds is. They’d have to pay me a lot to lose my butt and go down to 147. At the end of the day, I’m a woman. I don’t have big breasts, but I got a nice butt, so come with that dough and I’ll be there. At least a million and I’ll be there.”
In other words, don’t expect to see Shields vs. Taylor anytime soon.
If Shields desires the best fight possible then she’s going to have to search for it in mixed martial arts (MMA). There simply isn’t enough talent in boxing to keep “T-Rex” busy and she’s mostly to blame, having already disposed of her biggest threats. And if she’s looking for that elusive million-dollar payday, her final destination should be the 2022 season under Professional Fighters League (PFL).
“We’re looking at the middle of June, I believe Las Vegas, and I think I will be on the card with Anthony Pettis,” Shields said about her MMA debut. “Super happy to be doing that, I get to celebrate my birthday and then it’s right back to the gym to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to train with coach (Greg) Jackson, coach (Mike) Wink, Holly Holm, and [Jon Jones], and I’m just ready to show the world that I am the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time).”
Prior to signing with PFL back in Nov. 2020, there was talk of transitioning to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), generating immediate interest from two-division champion Amanda Nunes. But Shields claims the promotion wanted to throw her to the wolves under a short-term deal, which is how the PFL deal came to pass.
“With the PFL, it was ‘Let’s train, let’s start you at this level and work your way up,’ and then I’ll have a chance to fight in the PFL tournament in 2022,” Shields told MMA Fighting. “I’ll still be able to box, so my boxing career isn’t just over because I’m doing MMA. And it’s a lucrative three-year deal. It’s not like ‘Hey come over here fight two times and go back to boxing.’ I’m a conqueror and I’m a winner so I want to put myself in a position to always win.”
Shields is expected to compete twice in 2021 before entering next year’s PFL lightweight tournament. While it’s a long road to get there, combat sports fans are already buzzing about the prospect of having “T-Rex” face off against another two-time Olympian and current PFL champion Kayla Harrison.
“We’ve known each other since the 2012 Olympics,” Harrison told MMAmania.com. “She reached out to me and let me know she was signing (with PFL) and I said, ‘This is amazing, this is a great move for you business-wise as well as personally.’ She was kind of in the place I was in after 2016, I felt like there was nothing left to accomplish in judo. She’s at that point now in boxing. There’s not many mountains left for her to climb in boxing. If that day comes that we step into the cage together, it will be with respect and I’ll be excited about it.”
Shields will continue her training at Jackson-Winklejohn MMA while PFL maps out her 2021 fight campaign. No opponent has been finalized as of this writing, but Shields is going to be expected to perform at the highest level, simply because of her accomplishments in the “sweet science.”
Time to break out those rose petals.