Claressa T-REX Shields became the top female figure in modern-day boxing with her fierce and imposing physique, plus her sharp eye, when she won new vacant championships in a third division on 10 January, defeating Croatia’s Ivana Habazin, who had also fallen to First Lady Cecilia Braekhus, who holds all the welterweight belts, by a unanimous decision of the judges. Will Shields go down to a fourth category to face Braekhus?
A colorful piece of information that enhances our talk with our president Gilberto Mendoza: On April 13, 2019, Shields defeated in a conclusive way, and took away the undefeated record of Kazakhstan’s Christina Hammer to remain as the absolute champion of the middleweight division in the four main world organizations: WBA – WBO – WBC – IBF. In addition, Shields holds one of the records by winning in three different divisions with only ten professional fights in her 25 years. On the side of the men who have achieved the same fast we can mention Vasyl Lomachenko who did it with twelve fights
But all this did not come out of nowhere, as Claressa has seeded great successes along her path through amateurism: this giant has become a legend by being recognized as the only American able to perform two consecutive defenses of the gold medal she won in the 75kg when women’s boxing first appeared in history at the 2012 London Olympics. The defense of that feat went to Rio 2016 when immediately afterwards Shields turned to professionalism to continue writing history. In total, she fought 78 fights as an amateur with only one defeat.
Thanks to the documentary film named T-REX as her nickname plus the variety of reports, the hard life story she has in her memory has become quite well known. And we could say that such public exposure served to understand the woman who lives behind all the roughness and boxing talent while at the same time it deeply inspires the young generations of the world of fists.
Her devotion to boxing comes from a father who made some appearances in the ring and was later imprisoned when Claressa was only two years old. During the period of her father’s absence, the little giant lived with a mother who was unable to raise her because of alcoholism, an addiction that prevented her from seeing her daughter sexually abused under the same roof. When she was nine years old, her father was released from prison, and in the midst of the conversations he had with her, he told her about the greatness of Muhammed Ali, who, of his nine children, only the girl Laila Ali followed in the footsteps of the greatest boxer in history. This led Claressa Shields, 11, to join the gym at Berston Field House in Flint, Michigan, where she was born on March 17, 1995.
While her father was in prison, Claressa spent some time with her grandmother Joanne thanks to the support of one of her aunts who, through a role play with a doll, managed to discover the ordeal her niece was going through. At her Grandma’s house she managed to improve her speech difficulty although during her adolescence she suffered from occasional stuttering. As a teenager, she had many problems with some of her school mates for defending herself from the bullying she suffered from due to her unkempt hair and clothes that classified her as shaggy. She was also labeled with aggression problems after throwing a bench at a teacher when she was 16. However, at 17 she was on top of the world with an Olympic gold medal in London and sometime later would be the only one to finish high school in the Shields family.
What are the limits for this great star of female boxing in the world? What will come next?