5 Insane Facts About Claressa Shields You Need to Know

Published 03/06/2021, 6:24 AM EST
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 21: Claressa Maria Shields of the United States celebrates victory over Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands in the Women’s Middle (69-75kg) Final Bout on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro – Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


American professional boxer, Claressa Shields, signed a three-year contract with Professional Fighters League, and she is expected to make her mixed martial arts debut in 2021. She has been training with UFC bantamweight, Holly Holm, and the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, to hit the ground running once she swaps the ring for the cage.

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Ahead of her much-awaited debut, let’s look at some interesting facts about her.

1. Claressa Shields had her first fight when she was 11, and it was against a guy

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Shields first got into the ring for a sparring match against a guy when she was 11. She got hit in the nose, which hurt her a lot, but she got back up to punch away and win the match.

MIAMI, FL – APRIL 04: WBA, WBC, and IBF Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields poses for the media before her workout at 5th Street Gym on April 4, 2019, in Miami, Florida. Shields is training to fight WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer for the undisputed middleweight world championship on April 13. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

This has been symbolic of her never give up attitude that she has displayed throughout her time as an amateur and a professional boxer.

2. She started talking after she turned five

‘T-Rex’ faced a really tough childhood, and she didn’t start talking before the age of five. She has made several revelations about her childhood and has acted as a role model for a huge amount of women out there. Her dad was in jail for many years of her childhood, and her mom was a drug addict.

3. Claressa Shields adopted a baby when she was 19

Shields’ cousin had two babies and wanted to get an abortion for her third child. However, Claressa stepped in and adopted the child when she was 19. It didn’t work out for her in the end, but she moved on and showed incredible strength and fortitude.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 21: Gold medalist Claressa Maria Shields of the United States poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Boxing Middle (69-75kg) on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro – Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

4. Her popular nickname “T-rex” was given to her when she was a kid

‘T-Rex’ was a skinny child and had short arms. This, combined with the fact that she never stopped swinging, earned her her iconic nickname. She got it when she was 11 and started boxing after her father told her about Laila Ali. Her father told her that Laila Ali was the daughter of Muhammad Ali and she was following in his footsteps.

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The eleven-year-old Claressa took inspiration from this and signed up for boxing classes, and the rest is history.

5. She is one of eight boxers to hold all four major titles in boxing

Claressa Shields joined the elite few in boxing when she was the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. She held the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles simultaneously in 2019 and had them till September 2020. Recently, she became the only pugilist to become undisputed across two weight divisions.

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Aniket Awasthi

311 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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