Shields Dominates Habazin, Makes History

It took three tries, but we finally were able to see Claressa Shields face rival Ivana Habazin. This time, inside the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Like all of her previous fights, however, this appeared to be another easy win for “T-Rex” Shields. The two-time Olympic champion beat Habazin via unanimous decision (99-89, 100-90, 100-89).

As a result of the win, Shields (10-0) won the WBO and WBC Junior Middleweight Championships. Those belts are an add on of the WBA, WBC IBF,  WBO and The Ring middleweight titles. She becomes the fastest boxer, male or female, to win world titles in three weight classes in just ten fights.

“We spent so many months in camp for this fight,” Shields said after the fight. “It wasn’t what I wanted, but I’m happy with the improvement. I did it in 10 fights. I’m the fastest fighter in history to win titles in three weights.”

Habazin (20-4) tried her best to play through Shields’ aggressiveness, but it was to no avail. As round two hit, Shields starting hitting power shots and went on the attack. In the middle rounds, both starting acting aggressive, landing shots as the bell rang. Shields started chasing after Ivana, hitting nasty shots to the head as the challenger attempted to push Shields against the ropes.

Round six was a momentum-changer if there ever was one. Shields hit a big shot to the side of Habazin, knocking her down. That was the first knockdown in Shields’ career.

From there, Ivana tried catching her breath while Shields went for the pounce. The body shot would come into play again in round nine, as Shields continued to punish that area. Credit to Ivana, who was getting hit with shots but managed to hold on every step of the way. She also hit a few headshots of her own to keep some sort of pace. No momentum was provided to her, however.

Moving down in weight didn’t appear to be an issue for Shields, who was getting criticized by Ivana for the drop and her “lack of” power.

Shields now wants to be on the main cards with fighters like Deontay Wilder. When asked who Shields wants next, she didn’t shy away from saying Elin Cederroos, who beat Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa earlier in the night.

“I’d love to fight Elin Cederroos,” Shields stated. “None of them are ready for me. I’m the once in a century kind of athlete. None of these girls are ready for me. I’m the GWOAT.”

Cederroos’unanimous decision win over Napoleon-Espinosa (95-94, 95-94, 95-94) started off the Showtime-produced card, and it was the fight of the night. Both went back and forth, but Elin’s reach and height were too much. She knocked Napoleon down in the second, the first time she was dropped, prompting a 10-8 round on the scorecard by all three judges.

When asked if she would like to face Shields next, Elin was hesitant at first. She discussed other goals she had in her career, not making it clear if Shields is in her future.

“I’m focused on this fight,” Elin went on to say. “I’ll go home to Sweden to get back to training. I want more belts. I need to build up my name.”

In the co-main event, Jaron Ennis defeated Bakhtiyar Eyubov via TKO in round four. It was a dominant affair by “Boots”, who knocked Eyubov out several times.

Showtime Main Card (9 p.m. ET, Showtime) 

Claressa Shields def. Ivana Habazin via unanimous decision (99-89, 100-90, 100-89) – WBO and WBC Junior Middleweight Championships

Jaron Ennis def. Bakhtiyar Eyubov via TKO (0:34 into round four)

Elin Cederroos def. Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa via unanimous decision (95-94, 95-94, 95-94) – WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Championships

Showtime Preliminary Bouts (6 p.m. ET) 

Apti Davtaev def. Keith Barr via KO (0:38 into round three)

Joseph Bonas def. Glenn Mitchell via unanimous decision (39-27, 39-27, 39-27)

Jacob Bonas def. Christian Rivera via TKO (1:55 into round two)

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