Shields: ‘I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before’

Unified middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin showed off their skills at a media workout Wednesday before they go toe-to-toe this Saturday night in a showdown for the WBO and WBC 154-pound world titles live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Mich.

 Joining them at the media workout were fighters competing in non-televised attractions Saturday including local super flyweight contenders Ja’Rico O’Quinn and James Smith, who will fight for the WBO International title, and Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, who steps in against Erin Toughill in a super welterweight attraction.

 After her portion of the media workout, Shields, who fights in her hometown of Flint for the first time as a pro on Saturday, spent time with kids who participate in the gym’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) program for Detroit students ages 8-18. The gym currently serves over 170 students with mentorship and training programs.

 Here is what Claressa Shields had to say:

 “It hasn’t really hit me yet that I’m actually fighting in Flint. Once everything happens at the press conference I think it will actually hit me. I hope that this fight shows people in Flint that no matter what we go through, Flint comes out on top.

“Habazin has a good record and is ranked highly, so I know what she presents. I trained for nine weeks not to lose weight, but to be prepared for a tough match. I trained to come here and get the knockout. It should be a great fight come Saturday.

“I’ve been fighting for 13 years and I’ve never missed weight once. If you have a fight at a certain weight class, you come on weight. That’s just protocol. You do what you have to do. I’m still drinking my water and eating. I’m not starving myself to make weight.

“It’s important every time to look better than my last fight. That’s just my mentality so that I keep myself from doing too much but also doing enough. I looked superb in my last fight. I showed people that I’m a complete fighter. I can’t show less than that on Saturday. To me, that means I have to get the knockout.

“I know that I’m faster at 154-pounds. It’s been a big jump for this one. I’m Roy Jones Jr. fast for this one. I can drop my hands, throw punches and land them from any angle. This weight is beneficial for body. It fits me well.

“I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before, but it’s not where it needs to be yet. I think that my performances are getting better and better and everything I do outside of boxing is helping to build me up as well.

“I just want to get better every fight. I want to make sure that I show even more of everything that I did against Hammer. That’s been my mentality since the amateurs.”


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