Claressa Shields is full of confidence ahead of her much-anticipated match-up against Croatia’s Ivana Habazin.
The pair faced off today at the final press conference before their super welterweight title clash. In typical Shields fashion, the two-time Olympic gold medallist and unified middleweight world champion was nothing less than open and transparent about how she sees Friday night’s fight unfolding. The two fighters will meet in a ten-round contest in the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The vacant WBC and WBO super welterweight belts will be on the line.
“I’m once in a century kind of athlete. I guarantee it’s going to be over before six rounds. And I say six because I’m punching different. I’m stronger at 154. I’m faster,” Shields said to assembled media.
“One of the things she said that was really disrespectful was that I didn’t make weight for October 4. Don’t believe the lies. I made 154 pounds and I’m going to be a three-division world champion come Friday. Ivana doesn’t stand a chance. I’m sorry, I’m just going to keep it real. She’s not as skilled as Christina Hammer. She worked her way up, but once a quitter, always a quitter,” she added.
The undefeated 24-year-old is currently the undisputed face of women’s boxing in the US. If Shields wins on Friday, she will be able to lay claim to owning world titles in three weight divisions, an impressive achievement for a fighter, who only turned pro in 2016.
“I just try to keep carrying women’s boxing the best way that I can. I’m regarded as a top 10 fighter in boxing already with only nine fights. When you have that kind of pressure you have to go out and not be average. Skill wise, there’s not a woman that can compare to me. I can do everything. I can box, I can brawl, I can stand in front of you toe-to-toe. When I win this fight I’m just going to get a little bit louder with: She’s the GWOAT, Greatest Women Of All Time. Put it there. I claim it,” Shields said.
The Flint-native has also made it clear that she would love to step into the ring with UFC two-division champion Amanda Nunes. Shields invited Nunes to attend this week’s fight, but so far, there is no indication that the Brazilan has accepted the invitation.
Nunes expressed her lack of interest in sharing the ring with Shields following her win over Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245. However, the world of combat sports is both wild and wonderful, and Shields is not one to readily take no for an answer, so while it may be an unlikely matchup fans should not rule it out just yet.
In the meantime, Shields will need to ensure she backs up her words with actions when the bell sounds on Friday night.