DETROIT — Amateur star Claressa Shields says she's still weighing her options about whether to turn pro.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night when the Detroit Tigers hosted the Minnesota Twins. Shields, a Flint native, won her second gold at this year's Rio Olympics.
It's not clear what the future holds now. She said she'd like to "have the best of both worlds" if a rule change allows women's boxers to turn pro and still fight in the Olympics.
Shields said she hopes her success brings attention to the water crisis and poverty level in Flint.
"People will see that even though that I came from Flint, look at where I am now," she said. "I hope that it gives those kids in Flint hope."
IN OTHER NEWS: Martin Gethin has set his sights on becoming a two-weight British Champion and is hoping to add a Commonwealth strap to his roll of honour in the meantime.
The Quiet Man has held Midlands, English and British titles during an impressive 12 year, 34 fight career. On Saturday he travels to Blackpool to take on hometown hero, Adam Little, in a Commonwealth Super Lightweight Title Eliminator.
“I haven’t seen a lot of his fights yet but I have been told he is fast and he has good movement,” he said. “I am just going to make him work and see if he can keep up with me for the rounds we are doing. Not many people can keep up with my pace and the ones that have done have moved up to world level.
“My preparation has been fine. I have been doing all the pad work and getting the hill runs in so I am feeling good. I have been making sure I am fit enough and I feel great and I can’t wait to get in the ring.
“I have been working myself hard because I know how important this fight can be for me. I have pushed myself because Adam Little is a decent lad and I can’t take anything easy with what is on the line. It is like a world title fight for me now. I have had a lot of bad luck recently with the injuries so now I am doing all I can to make sure I am ready for this fight.”
On the injury front, after being plagued with a perforated ear drum since his World Title Eliminator defeat to Ammeth Diaz in 2013, Gethin undertook corrective surgery to eradicate the problem that forced him to retire in that bout and again when he fought both Terry Flanagan and Tommy Coyle.
“I am over the injuries now,” he confirmed. “I didn’t feel too bad in my last fight (a routine points win over Fonz Alexander back in May). The fight was only four rounds but in that time the ear took a bit of a clobbering and it felt fine so that is good.
“The ear kept on going on me as far back as when I fought Diaz up to the Flanagan and Coyle fight. I have had to have an operation on it and a skin graft. I had a grommet left in my ear drum from when I was about six years old and it was embedded in my ear drum. Every time it was getting hit it was popping in my ear, it was the worst pain ever.
That’s done and now that I’ve moved up in weight, I want another shot at the British Title. I am feeling good at super lightweight. When I was at lightweight I would be 10 stone the day before the fight, so I would still have to lose another four or five pounds the day before the fight.
I would have to hit the gym instead of resting but making super lightweight is much better for me.
“I want to get to the British Super Lightweight Title. I want to get my chance at that as soon as I can. That‘s why this fight is so important to me. I want a shot at the Commonwealth Title as that’s a belt I’ve not held before but, just as importantly, I know a good win against a good fighter like Little will edge me closer to a shot at the British Title.”
Little and Gethin go head to head at the Blackpool Hilton this coming Saturday, 17th September.
The Neil Marsh promoted four-fight dinner show also features Blackpool heavyweight, Bill Hodgson, Southport welterweight, Joe Wood, and Preston middleweight, Mick Hall. Tickets are available, priced at £100 VIP with champagne reception and three-course meal or £60 to include a three-course meal, by calling 07896 831 520.