In The Shadow Of Ali, Shields Chases History
On Tuesday, undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields paid a visit to the historic 5th Street Gym in Miami, for a media workout prior to her battle against Ivana Habzin on October 5th for the WBO junior middleweight title.
“I love boxing and I love that I’m one of the women who is carrying the sport, making it bigger and more well known. We’re getting more respect,” Shields told reporters. “There are fighters out there who believe that they can beat me and that really motivates me. That’s why I train and put in the time that I do.
“I want to show everybody that I’m a truly great fighter. I can beat Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record of winning titles in three divisions in 10 fights instead of 12. Plus, I’m going backwards, not going up in weight, where there are better challenges for me.”
“My performances will lead to bigger fights and bigger purses for me and my opponents. I’m just going to keep building my name and building my brand,” Shields continued as she looks to become the fastest fighter of any gender to win three world titles in as many divisions.
“With this fight against Habazin, I’m definitely going in looking for the knockout. If I get it in spectacular fashion, that will go viral and help push my career forward.“
Following her historic victory over Christina Hammer back in June, Shields is excited to add another chapter to her historic career in her hometown of Flint, Michigan.
“It means everything to have this fight back in my hometown,” Shields said. “I want to be the good news for Flint and make people smile. I’m happy to be bringing a fight back home while I’m still on top. I feel like Flint will be uplifted by that.
“Everyone back home is really excited for this event. It’s going to be a huge homecoming for me on October 5.
“Muhammad Ali has trained here at 5th Street Gym and every time I train here I feel like I’m in his presence,” Shields said in the former training center of greats such as Ali. “It makes me want to be even greater. He’s the GOAT and I’m going to be the GWOAT.