Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields is only a day away from her scheduled return to the ring.
Shields will start off 2020 by dropping down in weight to challenge former welterweight champion Ivana Habazin in a clash for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound world titles this Friday, January 10 live on Showtime from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
Shields and Habazin were scheduled to fight last October, but their contest was shockingly called off during the official weigh-in. There were a verbal altercation between Shields' sister and Habazin's head trainer, James Ali Bashir. And that eventually led to Shields' brother knocking Bashir out with a sucker-punch.
Shields, who captured two Olympic gold medals, wants to become a three division world champion in only her tenth fight as a pro.
The always talkative Shields considered herself to be the greatest female fighter of all-time.
“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.
“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.
“After everything happened in Flint, I had a conversation with Stephen Espinoza and he just told me to stay focused. Everyone who was in Flint and knows about the incident that happened knows it’s not something I have a history of doing. I don’t do stuff outside the ring. 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."