Boxing champ Shields wants mixed martial arts crown too
Three-division world boxing champion Claressa Shields is jumping into mixed martial arts and wants to own global crowns in both sports at once.
The 25-year-old American, a two-time Olympic middleweight champion, was announced Tuesday as the newest member of the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
“I want to go where no man or woman has gone and hold championships in both boxing and MMA at the same time,” Shields said. “I can’t wait to get to work.”
Shields, who has won all 10 of her fights since turning professional after the 2016 Rio Olympics, will continue her boxing career while she enters the MMA realm with a series of special attraction fights in 2021 and a place in the 2022 PFL campaign.
She is to follow two examples from US sports, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, who became two-sport stars in the NFL and Major League Baseball.
Jackson is the only player to be an All-Star in the NFL and MLB, while Sanders is the only player to compete in the World Series and Super Bowl.
“Since turning pro it has been my goal to be the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and to be a two-sport star like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders,” Shields said.
Shields, a two-time amateur world boxing champion, was first a world pro champion in the women’s super middleweight division. She also holds titles at middleweight and light middleweight.
“She has transcended sports and has become a global icon,” said PFL chief executive officer Peter Murray.
“Claressa will continue to box professionally as she embarks on her multi-year PFL MMA career.”