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Report: Champion boxer Claressa Shields making switch to MMA, to sign with PFL

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One of the best boxers alive is reportedly changing sports.

Claressa Shields, ranked the No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer in the world by The Ring magazine and ESPN, has signed a contract with Professional Fighters League to become a mixed martial artist, according to MMA Junkie.

The 25-year-old Shields hinted at the move through Twitter on Monday.

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The move will suspend a 10-0 professional boxing career in which Shields held major titles at middleweight, light middleweight and super middleweight, and after a legendary amateur career in which she held a 77-1 career with Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

Shields is one of only seven boxers to ever hold WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles at the same time, male or female, per MMA Junkie. She had previously hinted at interest in a career in MMA, saying she wants to fight UFC dual-champion Amanda Nunes.

Claressa Shields stands for her introduction for a fight with Ivana Habazin in a women's 154-pound title boxing bout in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Claressa Shields, coming to an MMA ring near you. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Shields immediately becomes arguably the biggest name of her new promotion, alongside fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who also won in 2012 and 2016.

Per MMA Junkie, Shields’ career with PFL will begin with one-off fights, rather than the promotions’ season-style structure. Harrison did the same thing when she joined in 2018, then won the 2019 championship at the 155-pound weight class.

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