Thursday, November 30, 2023  |


Claressa Shields again makes history, winning second Ring championship, unifying 154

Fighters Network

Claressa Shields, who has already won titles in three weight classes, made history again Friday night, at the Dort Federal Center, in Flint, Michigan.

Facing a southpaw for just the second time in her professional career, Shields was not to be denied as she thoroughly dominated Marie Eve Dicaire en route to a 10-round unanimous decision in the main event of an all-women’s FITE TV pay-per-view to become the undisputed junior middleweight champion.

All three judges scored the bout a clean sweep for Shields, 100-90.

With the win, Shields (11-0, 2 knockouts) collected the IBF and the vacant WBA and Ring Magazine titles on a card that served as the first pay-per-view event for women’s boxing since June 2001 when Laila Ali defeated Jacqui Frazier-Lyde by majority decision.

While she scored a complete shutout, Shields told FITE TV’s Dan Canobbio after the fight that Dicaire was not playing fair.

“She just kept headbutting me and elbowing me,” she stated. “I was trying to get the knockout; that’s what I wanted.

“I almost had it a couple of times but we got two minutes.”

The unbeaten Shields has now become undisputed champion in two weight divisions. In April 2019, the two-time Olympic gold medalist defeated Christina Hammer in a lopsided unanimous decision to claim the honor at 160 pounds, where she still holds three titles, as well as the inaugural Ring middleweight championship.

In her previous bout in January 2020, Shields, who also unified two belts at super middleweight, outclassed Ivana Habazin in a near-shutout decision to win the WBC and WBO 154-pound titles in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader.

The fight began with glaring dissimilarities. Dicaire (17-1), who hails from Quebec, Canada, fought at a frantic pace, sticking out the jab to throw her opponent off. However Shields remained composed, landing with a short right that stopped Dicaire in her tracks.

Claressa Shields (left) vs. Marie Eve Dicaire. Photo credit: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Claressa Shields (left) vs. Marie Eve Dicaire. Photo credit: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Late in Round 3, “T-Rex” popped DiCaire with a crisp right cross that got the attention of those at ringside.

With her back against the ropes, Shields goaded Dicaire to land a big shot in Round 5 but the southpaw was unable to pull the trigger. The 25-year-old then followed up with a quick flurry.

Shields came out the gate in Round 6 with a head of steam, backing up Dicaire with a series of stiff left and right hands. Late in the frame, she clipped her with a strong right directly on the jaw.

Returning from a near-14-month layoff, the longest of her career to date, Shields looked fresher than ever, knocking back Dicaire with a solid left hook, reducing her tempo to that of a simple crawl.

Dicaire, who entered the fight undefeated, swung for the fences in Round 9 but was countered with a sharp right from Shields, to whom she nodded in acknowledgment.

According to CompuBox, Shields landed 116 of 409 punches (28 percent) and Dicaire landed 31 of 263 blows (12 percent).

While she didn’t get the knockout for which she desperately yearned, Shields was still smiling.

“I’m happy but I still wanted the KO and I just didn’t have enough time.

“But at the end of the day, I’m the new undisputed champion at 154 and the first boxer to [become undisputed] twice [during the four-belt era.]”

Claressa Shields. Photo credit: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Claressa Shields. Photo credit: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

In the chief support bout, heavyweight Danielle Perkins dominated Monika Harrison for the second time in a lopsided eight-round unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Perkins (3-0, 1 KO), who remains undefeated in her professional campaign.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Perkins said. “I’m especially grateful to Claressa, who created this opportunity for me. She’s a real woman for women.

“I appreciate her big time.”

According to Compubox, Perkins landed 101 of 353 punches (34 percent). Harrison (2-2-1, 1 KO) connected on just 21 of 273 blows (seven percent).

To round out the undercard, bantamweight Jamie Mitchell (6-0-2, 4 KOs) remained undefeated with a fifth round stoppage of Noemi Bosques (12-16-3, 2 KOs). 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) picked up her second consecutive victory with a lopsided six-round unanimous decision win over Shelly Barnett (4-4-2) in a 118-pound contest. With the loss, Barnett has dropped her fourth consecutive bout.