Shields: “I Can Be The First Million PPV Women Boxer”
Friday night Claressa Shields steps into the ring in Detroit, just a few miles from where she started her boxing career in her first ever title fight.
The Flint native heads to the MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan in the shadow of the now closed Joe Lewis arena to take on Nikki Adler for the WBC and IBF Super Middleweight Championships, the two-time Olympic champion feels she is ready.
“I can’t say that I’m a changed fighter, but I have gotten sharper, calmer, and I am in the best shape of my life. Getting ready for a 10-round fight has a way of humbling your spirit! The first time I sparred 10 rounds I couldn’t believe that I had just done it, but it taught me a lot about myself. I am ready now for all challenges!”
The 22-year-old Flint native has lofty expectations for her pro career, with just under a year of pro fights under her belt she is looking to had more hardware.
“…I want to win world titles in three divisions — 168, 160 and 154. And I’d like to unify the division titles where possible.”
Shields also wants to do what Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey have done for MMA, and put female fighters at the forefront of not only the sports world, but the box office.
“I also want to build my audiences on Showtime and at the live venues. I also hope to get to a point where I can have the first million buys PPV in women’s boxing. I know I have a bright future and I’m just going to take it one step at a time. “
With that type of confidence comes some scrutiny as some have called into question the 4-0 Shields. And while it is to be expected when you are coming to national prominence, Shields is a bit shocked at the backlash.
“I am surprised and sometimes disappointed at how many women boxers are upset about how I do business or how confident I am. I call out the best fighters, I take huge step ups, I take risks in choosing my opponents, I am fortunate to get exposure for women’s boxing through my fights on TV, and I wish the women would realize I’m lifting the sport and opportunities for all women when I do what I do.“
With a title win in her hometown on the horizon, Shields is embracing the moment.
“I like to make history! I feel like I’m obsessed with it! From my first Olympics, to my amateur accomplishments, and now my journey as a pro! I’ve always just wanted to win, and by winning history was made…”
And when speaking about the fan base that has developed from her rise from an Olympian to a pro fighter, she is grateful for them and preparing for the potential adjustment to super stardom.
“I love my fans, I love performing on TV, and I’m a people person. I don’t let myself think about the pressure. I just embrace the time that I have to be normal. God told me a long time ago that I was going to be a star, so right now while I don’t need security guards I’ll enjoy it, but when I do have to get them, I’ll just have to adjust to it, it comes with the territory!”
You’ll be able to see Claressa Shields take on Nikki Adler for the IBF and WBC Super Welterweight Titles this Friday night at 10pm est on Showtime!