Three-division women’s champion and current undisputed middleweight champ Claressa Shields will move up to light heavyweight to challenge current heavyweight titleholder Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse on July 27 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Shields, despite her unrivaled amateur and professional accomplishments, has often struggled to draw the sort of attention, ticket buyers and viewership that contemporaries such as Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano and Mikaela Mayer have generated. A two-weight-class leap and a title in a fourth division would certainly add to her already-impressive resume.

Will it drum up the kind of next-level interest that has thus far eluded her?

“The Queen of Boxing is back!” Shields said in a statement released Wednesday. “I’m so excited to return to the ring, especially after my MMA victory in February. I’m excited to bring another entertaining fight to Little Caesars Arena. Last time 12,000 fans filled the arena, and this time we’re going to lift the roof off the building!”

A two-time Olympic gold medal winner in 2012 and 2016, and the first two-division undisputed champion in women’s history, Shields (14-0, 2 KOs) will take on Canada’s Lepage-Joanisse (7-1, 2 KOs) in an edition of “Big Time Boxing USA” that will be streamed live on DAZN.

“From the beginning of her career,” said Shields promoter Dmitriy Salita, “Claressa has been on a quest to make her story a part of history.”

Most recently, Shields, of Flint, Michigan, beat Kelsey DeSantis in an MMA fight staged in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in February. Shields hasn’t competed in the ring since defending her middleweight titles in a unanimous decision over Maricela Cornejo in June 2023. 

Lepage-Joanisse lost her challenge for the heavyweight title in 2017, in just her fourth fight, but it was later found that Mexico’s Alejandra Jimenez tested positive for illegal substances. Lepage-Joanisse left boxing for nearly six years after the defeat, but she returned to the ring in March 2023, winning the title she now holds via a unanimous decision over Argentina’s Abril Argentina Vidal.

"It doesn't matter to me whether it's Claressa or someone else,” Lepage-Joanisse said. “My life is all about challenges. I've always faced them head-on, and I intend to keep it that way."