Claressa Shields says only Muhammad Ali was a better boxer than her

FLINT, MI – The phrase GOAT is used throughout the sports world as a measure of the utmost excellence.

There are debates about attempting to crown the “greatest of all time” among athletes who transcend their chosen field of athletic competition.

In basketball, the comparison often comes down to Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Seven Rings are unmatched by any football quarterback.

Among the fans of soft science, Muhammad Ali stands on top of the mountain.

But there’s a new title in town – GWOAT, or The Greatest Woman of All Time – and Claressa Shields is leading her own way to claim the moniker, with Canada’s Marie Eve Dicaire being her next hurdle to that goal on Friday, The 5th. March at the Dort Financial Center in Flint.

“I don’t box for a hobby. It’s not something I do because it’s fun. You know, I do it because it’s fun. But it’s my career and I really love boxing with all my heart, ”said Shields, a native of Flint. “I feel like some people underestimate this when they watch how I talk about my greatness. If I had never said how awesome I am, no one in this room would have ever called me awesome because you just don’t recognize it.

“Only the great know that they are great, like Muhammad Ali. No one called him the greatest of all time. They called it the Louisville Lip because it talked a lot, right? But, if he had never said he was the greatest of all time, he wouldn’t be considered the greatest of all time right now. Whichever boxer shows up, no one can stand in front of Muhammad Ali. This is how I feel about myself. Muhammad Ali is the first. Claressa Shields is second. I’m the greatest woman ever and 98% of the men in this world can’t beat me. Stay real. “

Long known as the “T-Rex”, Shields takes on “GWOAT” as a new nickname.

“It’s a new era for me. My name is now Claressa “The GWOAT” Shields. The T-Rex is long gone. OK? “She said.” The T-Rex had short arms. T-Rex was aggressive, but the greatest woman of all time has a lot more. She has poise, power, a punch placement and that’s what you’ll see on Friday.

Shields (10-0-0, 2 KOs) and Canada’s Marie Eve Dicaire (17-0-0, 0 KOs) will fight for the undisputed women’s world super-welterweight championship.

Shields holds the WBC and WBO super welterweight belts, while Dicaire is the IBF champion and the WBA will award a super championship belt to the winner.

Shields, 25, will fight for the first time since January 10, 2020, when she won a unanimous decision victory over Croatia’s Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City to win both her super welterweight belts.

Dicaire, 34, has not fought since November 23, 2019, when the three judges’ scorecards declared her the winner against Venezuelan Ogleidis Suarez in her native Quebec.

Shields is already the undisputed middleweight champion and a victory over Dicaire would make her the first female or male fighter in history to hold undisputed titles in two weight classes at the same time.

She’s fighting for more than just an in-ring victory, Shields said.

As a self-proclaimed GWOAT, Shields says she fights for equality for women’s boxing and women’s sport as a whole.

“I really am the one leading the way. No one has to deal with the pressures I face besides winning, besides performing, besides a sexist network, ”Shields said. “I am always focused on my skills and I go to the gym every day to prove that I am the best. When I play in the ring every time you never saw a girl come up to me to fight me.

“People look at me like, ‘Hey, she’s a fighter,’ and it’s like, I’m a boxer, and a very accomplished boxer at that. If I were a man, everyone in men’s boxing would bow down because I’m too powerful to be compared. … When you’re awesome, you know how awesome you are.

While reflecting on her motivations as she continues to transform her profession, Shields continues to evolve her mindset to set an example for youth and adults.

As she laid the groundwork for Flint, she inspired townspeople across the community that dire circumstances define no individual and that we can all do something on our own, she said.

And Shields does it by making himself available to the public.

When she’s shopping for groceries, she said, the kids will come meet her, or just anywhere in the community, she said. For her, it’s about bonding and giving back while inspiring others to be the best versions of themselves and pursue their dreams.

“A lot of children, adolescents and adults admire me. I change lives every day. I change the story. You can be Flint and be successful. You can grow up poor and earn money. You can be assaulted and raped and still be a great person. You don’t have to let these moments define and destroy you, ”she said. “I represent so much. I want people to understand that I’m not just a poor black Flint girl. This is who I was. Who am I now? I am the greatest woman of all time. I’m a pay-per-view star, three-time divisional world champion, undisputed champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist from Flint, Michigan.

Shields said her faith and belief in God also guided her in her decisions in and out of boxing.

When she started believing in Jesus Christ and God after being baptized, everything fell into place in her life, she said.

“I was walking through a dark tunnel with a light at the end that I never thought I would reach. When I got baptized and got out of the water, he just changed me as a person, ”Shields said. “Even though I was mean when I was 17, I was always changing and changing. (And now), 17 to 25, I’m two different people.

Related: Claressa Shields details her journey with faith

Amid the pandemic, Shields said she was almost ready to quit, but turned to God for advice on what was intended for her trip.

“I said, ‘You know what God, I stopped.’ There is nothing I can do about the situation, so I put my whole career in his hands and everything that God does, God does with it, ”she commented. “If it was God telling me that boxing had taken its toll and the weather was doing something else, I would have done it. If God had told me it was time for me to have children, I would have. Whatever his will for my career, I put it in the hands of God.

“When I did that I found out that God wanted me to be more than a boxer. He sent me the best coaches and started training for MMA too.… To be the greatest. all-time woman, I have to do both. God said, ‘Now, while you’re in your prime, here’s what you have to do.’ “

Dicaire and Shields are expected to enter the ring on Friday around 11 p.m., depending on the length of the six undercard bouts. Doors open at 6 p.m. for those who have been able to grab a limited number of tickets for the fight.

The event will be broadcast on pay-per-view, the first time that women have headlined a PPV card in 20 years. The show’s five fights will feature women.

The cost of the broadcast, which starts at 9 p.m., is $ 29.95 and is available on fite.tv or Comcast on demand.

Read more on MLive.com:

Claressa Shields and Marie Eve Dicaire dressed as twins during the weigh-in for the title fight

Claressa Shields engaged

Marie Eve Dicaire makes her dream come true by fighting Shields

Faith, family and friends help Shields cope with layoff

COVID precautions will be in place for Shields fight

Shields fight for more than a unified title

What to know about the Shields-Dicaire fight

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