WATCH: Claressa Shields Tears Up As She Opens Up On Her Grandmother’s Influence In Her Life

Published 01/12/2021, 8:13 AM EST
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – APRIL 13: Claressa Shields reacts after defeating Christina Hammer (not pictured) and becoming the women’s undisputed middleweight champion at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on April 13, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)


Claressa Shields is well on her way towards creating history in the sport of combat sports. She has already checked off a lot of honors in boxing, being an Olympic Gold Medalist as well as holding all four boxing organizations championships. However, her next step takes her into the world of MMA.

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Shields has battled a lot of adversity on her road to success. However, the pillar that built the foundation from under which she boxed was her grandmother. Shields wrote a piece for The Players Tribune in 2018 detailing the impact her grandmother had on her life. She added on to that while speaking to us ahead of her move to the Pro Fighters League, getting visibly choked up.

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Claressa Shields: Fighting with her grandmother by her side

Shields said to us, “The anniversary of her death is coming up in a couple days. Um, I think my grandma would just tell me just to… I think she’d say just keep going forward. Because even though boxing does kind of stress me out just a little bit, you know, she’s always the person who said like- give me a second. (holds back tears)

“You know, I’m never going to be like, crying or emotional.  She told me just to show no weakness. That’s what she was saying. Her main thing was ‘always show no weakness’. You know, don’t be weak. And that’s just how I go about it.

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 02: Claressa Shields works out during a pre fight media workout at the Downtown Boxing Gym on October 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

She gave a fit summary of how she feels her grandmother would feel looking at her success.

So crazy you would say this, she is my favorite person in the world. But I know she’d be so proud of me. She’s my biggest fan. She loved that I… she loved how mean I was. She never judged me. My grandma was my number one fan. I know. She looked down on me. She’s super happy. Super.” 

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Shields is expected to debut in the PFL in May or June this year. She is going to try to balance her boxing career alongside her MMA career. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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