Claressa Shields’ loss to Agibail Montes in a mixed martial arts match Wednesday night won’t prevent her from making a quick turnaround for her upcoming boxing bout.
Dmitriy Salita, Shields’ boxing promoter, informed BoxingScene.com that Shields left the cage in Hollywood, Florida, relatively unscathed following her three-round, split-decision defeat to Montes. Mexico’s Montes (3-0, 1 KO) defeated Shields by the same score on two cards, 29-28, whereas Shields won by that identical margin on the other card in a lightweight fight ESPN2 aired from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
“Claressa is disappointed, but otherwise she is doing OK,” Salita told BoxingScene.com. “Boxing is where her bread is buttered, and she is looking forward to returning to the boxing ring on December 11th. She is very motivated to beat Savannah Marshall and avenge her only loss in boxing as an amateur or as a professional and continuing to prove that she is the GWOAT in boxing.”
The 26-year-old Shields will take a brief break before she joins her boxing trainer, John David Jackson, next week at his gym, also in Hollywood, for a boxing training camp to prepare for her middleweight title fight against Ema Kozin on December 11 in Birmingham, England. If Shields (11-0, 2 KOs) defeats Slovenia’s Kozin (21-0-1, 11 KOs) and Savannah Marshall successfully defends her WBO middleweight title against an undetermined opponent as part of a doubleheader December 11, Shields and Marshall are expected to box at some point in the spring of 2022.
England’s Marshall (11-0, 9 KOs) is the only opponent who has defeated Shields in a professional or amateur boxing match. Shields hasn’t lost in boxing since Marshall out-pointed her, 14-8, in an Olympic qualifying event in May 2012.
Shields went on to win gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Flint, Michigan, native later won world titles in three weight classes as a professional and became women’s boxing’s undisputed champion in both the 160-pound and 154-pound divisions.
Despite not having any background in mixed martial arts, Shields signed a multi-fight agreement late last year to compete on Professional Fighters League cards that are broadcast by ESPN2.
Shields overcame some troublesome moments in the first and second rounds to stop Brittney Elkin in the third round of her MMA debut June 10 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She wasn’t as successful when she met Montes, but she intends to return to the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to resume her MMA career after boxing Kozin and Marshall if Shields and Marshall both win December 11.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.