After all the back and forth talk between Claressa Shields and Ivana Habazin, the fight itself was strictly one-way traffic.
The pair faced off on Friday night in a ten-round contest inside the Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the vacant WBO & WBC 154 pound titles. It was Shield’s first bout in the super welterweight division, and right from the outset, the two-time Olympic gold medalist looked perfectly at home.
Shields pitched a near-perfect game on her way to defeating Habazin via unanimous decision (99-89, 100-90, 100-89). Habazin spent most of the bout in a defensive mode and took a knee in the sixth-round after a barrage of body shots. The Croatian displayed plenty of heart but was outmatched in all departments.
Shields is now the fastest boxer, male or female, in history to capture world titles in three different divisions.
“I did it in 10 fights. Now I’m number one, the fastest boxer in history to become a three-division world champion,” Shields said in her post-fight speech.
Attention will now turn to what Shields will do next. She has made it clear that she wants to fight two-division UFC champion, Amanda Nunes, but given that Nunes herself appears disinterested, this could be a tough fight to get across the line.
There will no doubt be a long line of fighters who would love nothing more than a crack at Shields who is now, without doubt, the face of women’s boxer.