“Who I Wanted to Become”- Boxing Legend Claressa Shields Calls Serena Williams an Ideal Role Model

Published 06/07/2021, 11:50 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning her quarter final match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Two-time Olympic Gold medalist Claressa Shields calls legendary tennis player Serena Williams her only role model. Claressa is one of those figures in the sports industry known for her prodigious aplomb and fearless character. The American is a beast when it comes to winning; she is the only boxer in history to hold all four major world titles in the sport.

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After conquering almost everything in the boxing field, Shields is preparing to make a flashy debut in mixed martial arts. She will battle it out against Brittney Elkin in the Professional Fighters League on June 10. In between all this fuss about her debut match in MMA, Shields looked back at her journey and explained why the 23-time Grand Slam champion is her greatest inspiration.

Serena Williams is Claressa Shields’ role model

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Claressa Shields sat with Rich and Gianni for the Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast and talked about her MMA debut and boxing career. Shields was asked whether she has any role model to look up to.

Claressa revealed that her father used to advise her to look up to Laila Ali during her childhood. But when she got older and gained a reputation as a superb athlete, she found that looking up to Laila Ali did not match her desire and dreams. She said that she wanted to be better than her, and she became better than her.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021. Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves the court after losing her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Claressa then revealed Serena Williams is her role model saying, “When I look at Serena Williams, she was dominant. […] She’s so aggressive on the court, she’s got endorsement deals, sponsorships, and it was just seeing the ideal role model. When I first saw her that’s who I wanted to be like.”

Finding similarities

Claressa found many similarities between Serena and herself. Being the best on the court and attracting huge deals and sponsorship off the field make Serena one of the iconic figures in the sports industry. These qualities attracted the limelight to her, and this was the exact thing that Claressa wanted in her life. 

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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)

These two supreme talents are now part of history as the most influential persons in the world. Claressa has now turned out to be ‘The One’ to look up to for millions out there in the world. Being the best requires hard work and boundless dedication, and what better way to learn these qualities than from these two figures.

Both Serena Williams and Claressa Shields are in the quest for new heights. Serena is currently battling it out in the French Open and a quest for her record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title. At the same time, Claressa will reach yet another milestone when she debuts in the Professional Fighters League.

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Shijas Muhammed

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