After winning two consecutive Olympic medals, Claressa Shields needs no formal introduction. The young powerful female fighter has gradually risen from the dust to become a popular name in the world of boxing. She’s not only winning medals, she’s also among the small league of fighters currently revolutionizing women’s boxing.
Claressa Shields landed on this planet on 17th March 1995, in Flint, Michigan, US, the same place she started boxing under the guidance of coach and trainer, Jason Crutchfield. However, it was her father, Bo Shields, who introduced her to the world of boxing at the age of nine after being away in prison for about seven years. He was instrumental in Claressa’s decision to pursue a career in boxing, especially at a time when boxing was considered more as a male sport. Being a boxer before his conviction, Bo didn’t find it hard inciting her daughter’s interest in the sport. He often talked about the achievements of the former American professional boxer, Laila Ali, who was also the daughter of the legendary boxing champion, Mohammed Ali. Laila never experienced defeat in her illustrious boxing career which lasted for eight years.
Claressa soon took interest in boxing and eventually set out to pursue a career in the sport at a very tender age of eleven, when Bo considered her to be old enough. She started boxing at Berston Field House in Flint, where she trained under her first real coach, Jason Crutchfield.
Without doubts, Bo played a big role in piquing her daughter’s ambition to become a renowned boxing star. However, Claressa still acknowledges the efforts of her grandma in encouraging her not to accept restrictions based on her gender. Which is why the young lady is taking all her chances to move up the ranks. At 22, she has already pocketed several notable awards and rewards. Among these are two middleweight gold medals at the Summer Olympic and World Championships respectively, and one light heavyweight at the Pan American games.
Although Claressa currently commands a lot of interest and support from boxing enthusiasts, she still chooses to be discreet when it comes to her personal life. She doesn’t share a lot with fans; even when she does, it’s usually about her battles and victories. Though certain sources reveal she’s still single and could have adopted her cousin’s daughter when she was 19.
Outside the ring, Claressa is an ambassador for Up2Us Sports, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved youth by providing them with coaches trained in positive youth development. She is a Christian and prays before every fight. Unfortunately, she’s also a victim of sexual assault by her mother’s boyfriends; a condition which might have contributed to her faith in Christianity.
After excelling as an amateur, Shields has finally decided to begin her professional career. She is poised to seize the moment and take women boxing to a whole new level. According to her, she’s not doing all the hard work for the money but for the sport. If women’s boxing is rising now, it’s because the likes of Claressa Shields are in the spotlight. She has made it clear she would be among the fighters that would finally push women’s boxing into the front light.