Editor’s note: This article was originally published on MMAJunkie.com.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – For Claressa Shields, one thing is clear: She’s not going to leave boxing for MMA or vice versa.
Shields, the boxing champion who recently turned professional in MMA, has no intention to focus on one sport and plans to run careers in both simultaneously. A two-time boxing Olympic gold medalist, Shields has her second MMA fight booked when she takes on Abigail Montes at the 2021 PFL Championship event on Oct. 27. And shortly after her second go in MMA, Shields wants to get a boxing bout going for December.
Both sports are incredibly challenging, and some may think managing careers in both is an even harder task. Shields disagrees, and her answer as to why she’s doing this is simple.
“Because I’m the greatest, that’s why,” Shields told MMA junkie.
“Boxing is never going to be hard for me. Let’s just put it out. I’ve been boxing for 15 years. I’m a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Not a two-time Olympian, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. I fought against every kind of style you can fight against, and I’ve beaten them all. I’m a 12-time champion in boxing, three-time division, two-time undisputed. It goes on and on. All I need is four weeks to get ready for boxing.
“MMA, on the other hand, I would need more time to get ready. So the main thing is just to focus one fight at a time. That’s it. One fight at a time and just kind of go from there. I don’t think it’s going to be hard, and only the greats can do it.”
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Shields isn’t trying to be arrogant. She’s out to become the greatest female fighter of all time, and she believes being a champion in both MMA and boxing will get her there.
“It was a scary transition (to MMA) and risky transition, but I did it because I wanted to prove to myself that I am the greatest of all time,” Shields explained. “I can do boxing, I can do great in MMA as long as I train and fight the fighters who are at my caliber level.
“But once it gets to the PFL league, I want to prove that I can be the PFL champion, so I’m starting from scratch. … I’m just going to keep training, keep my head down and don’t let all the lights go to my head.”
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