Associated Press

Claressa Shields: The Face Of Women’s Boxing

Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0) will defend her WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles against Tori Nelson (17-0-3) on Friday night from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The title fight will headline a card that will be shown on Showtime. Claressa Shields fought three times in 2017, now she will look to start the New Year off with a bang and continue her path to superstardom in the squared circle.

At just 22 years old, Claressa Shields is already one of the most dominant female boxers ever. Although Shields, the WBC and IBF female super middleweight champion, has only four professional fights in her career, she is one of the most decorated amateur female boxers in the world. Her two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics in the middleweight class is an amazing feat. In 2012 at the London Summer Games, Shields would beat Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova to win the first Olympic gold medal of her career. Four years later, at the Rio Summer Games, Shields beat Dutch standout Nouchka Fontijin to win the second Olympic gold medal of her career.

Just three months after wrapping up her second gold medal Olympic victory, Shields would decide it was time to go pro. She was already one of the best female amateur boxers in the world, there was no doubt Shields would try to become one of the best in the professional ranks as well. Her professional debut was against fellow American boxer Franchon Crews, the bout would go all four rounds where Shields would take a unanimous decision victory. This was just the start to a fantastic boxing career.

Continuing to break boundaries, Claressa Shields would be part of the first female boxing match to headline a card on Showtime. In that bout, Shields would fight and beat Hungarian boxer Szilivia Szabados in the fourth round of six by technical knockout. Just two fights later, and only in her fourth professional fight, Shields would go up against her toughest opponent to date – WBC and IBF female middleweight champion Nikki Adler. The fight against with Adler was scheduled 10 rounds but only went to round five as Shields would win again by a technical knockout. Thus giving Shields her first professional world championships.

Like Shields, her opponent Torrie Nelson is also undefeated. The 41 year-old Nelson will try to shock the boxing world by beating one of the sports brightest stars and taking her championships away. This will not be an easy thing to accomplish, but a win on Friday night would be by far Nelson’s biggest accomplishment in her seven years of professional boxing.

Showtime has done a fantastic job in promoting what is the face of women’s boxing, Claressa Shields. The story of “T-Rex” is just starting. Whether Shields wins or loses on Friday night, she will still be the future of women’s boxing. Each one of Shields’ fights are a must-watch for fans of the sport, male or female. Shields is an incredible talent that deserves the fans attention, Showtime has given her the chance to shine, we should too.

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