Claressa Shields just cannot wrap her mind around the logic that went into one outlet’s year-end awards.

The multi-division world champion let off some steam recently in response to an ESPN article that deemed Ireland’s Katie Taylor, the undisputed women’s lightweight champion, as the top female boxer in the world. The article was not a pound-for-pound tabulation per se, as it sought to account for the fighters’ “global reach” and “breadth” of career. (Shields is still the No.1 on ESPN’s women’s pound-for-pound list proper). Shields' gripe seemed to center on the rationale that put Taylor above her on that particular list: “Her global reach -- and her influence that has helped push the sport to bigger levels in Europe than in the U.S. -- gave her the very small nod over Shields for No. 1.”

Shields, who goes by the self-appointed moniker GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time), also took issue with the hierarchical nature of the article, saying she did not appreciate how such pieces often seem to seed division between herself, Taylor, and Amanda Serrano. The ESPN article ranked 30 women’s fighters. (It should be noted that almost all boxing media outlets engage in such endeavors. For reference, Shields is BoxingScene.com's 2022 Women’s Fighter of the Year).

“In the article [the author] says he’s not judging it off of accomplishments, he’s not judging it off of dominance he’s judging it off of global reach and who has had a bigger impact in boxing,” Shields said in a video posted on her social media. “Me or Katie Taylor. It’s always me or Katie Taylor or Amanda Serrano. This what I will say to anybody. Stop trying to down me or down Katie or down Amanda Serrano to make one of us look bigger and better than the other. Especially if you’re gonna use ‘global reach.’

“Who has impacted the sport of boxing more. Who has made women’s boxing bigger? Who has a larger following in all these different countries? This is what I want to say: if you not sayin’ that all of us, collectively, have added to the sport of women’s boxing, we are all, all globally known, especially myself, Katie Taylor, and Amanda Serrano, if you’re not saying that we all have a large global reach and that we’re all growing the sport of women’s boxing, you are inaccurate. For you to say that, one person is more globally known than the other … you’re wrong. You’re wrong.”

Shields, a native of Flint, Michigan, made a bit of history this year when she became the undisputed middleweight champion for a second time with a comprehensive points win over Savannah Marshall. She has the distinction of being the first women to be undisputed in two divisions, having claimed all the belts at junior middleweight in the past. Shields may find herself in a return bout with Marshall next year after it was reported that Marshall had activated her rematch clause.

Putting solidarity aside, Shields feels the win over Marshall, a fight that saw a packed house at London’s O2 Arena in October, should have left no argument as to who the top talent and top ambassador is in the sport.

“Right now everybody knows that the GWOAT is No. 1,” Shields said. “Stop the cap, bro. Who been getting the fighter of the year awards. I got like 10 of ’em. Ya girl. If I ain’t your fighter of the year this year for whatever organization you with, you hatin’.

"And the reason I don’t like haters is because I work damn hard for my accomplishments. I work damn hard in camp. I work damn hard to shine … So when I see somebody trying to create a narrative that is not true about me, it pisses me off. I’m globally known because the fight with me and Savannah Marshall—nobody knew about the story of Savannah Marshall. I brought this girl to life. It was the GWOAT. People want to see me lose so bad they went back into my past and found a girl that beat me 10 years ago and said that she can beat me now. Built up her record.”

“I’m just tired of these writers and these folks trying to pit people against each other,” Shields added.

“You don’t have to doubt her to make me look bigger. I don’t do it. Me downing the next girl to me it does not make me look good. At all. It doesn’t even make me feel good. Claressa is the GWOAT because she is the GWOAT. Claresaa is the GWOAT because she can go to all these different weight classes and beat whoever you put in front of her. Claressa is the GWOAT cuz she can prove all of y’all wrong.”