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Claressa Shields: I don’t think Laila Ali could beat me in her prime

The self-proclaimed GWOAT talks potential future opponents, her most recent win, and Laila Ali.

Claressa Shields v Ivana Habazin Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images

Claressa Shields hit NYC on Tuesday and visited Ak and Barak at SiriusXM, as the Michigan-based boxer assessed her Saturday evening win, and gave her thoughts on some potential rivals.

The 24-year-old said she was satisfied with her showing on Saturday, in Atlantic City, against Ivana Habazin. Shields went to 10-0, but went the distance with the Croatian fighter.

It was easy work, because Shields is so skilled.

So what foe is next? Maybe Cecilia Braekhus? Shields said that Braekhus and her team have turned down a match. Shields said she went down to 154 to lure Braekhus in, but she’s feeling like Braekhus now wants to drop from 147 to 140, to meet Katie Taylor.

“I’ll knock Cecilia Braekhus out, and she knows that,” Shields declared.

”I’ll beat her down,” she said, when asked about Alejandra Jimenez, who also won on Saturday and said she’d drop down in weight from 168 to fight Shields.

Shields made a smart point when asked if there is enough talent out there to offer her stiff competition. Yes, indeed, she said, because there’s always a new kid on the block. After 2020, she said, she thinks there will be a mass infusion of talented female fighters appearing on radars.

The hosts do a fun game, asking guests for a one word response when they state a name.

Christina Hammer? “Stupid,” Shields replied.

Amanda Nunes? “Beast.”

Laila Ali? “Ali,” said Shields, and then explained that she didn’t dig it when Laila said that there isn’t anyone good enough to lure her out of retirement. She’d make her regret saying that if she decided to come out of retirement to face Shields. “I don’t think Laila Ali could beat me in her prime,” she continued. Ali is 42, fought from 1999-2007 with a 24-0 mark.

“She’s not a bad fighter,” said Shields, who declares herself the Greatest Woman of All Time (GWOAT).

Some other tidbits:

  • Claressa said no, Habazin wasn’t down but was sort of curled up, and that’s why the winner threw a punch after it looked like Ivana went down, with her knee on the canvas in round six.
  • The victor said she dug her ring-walk dance offered up Beyonce-style, but she wasn’t sure if she’d go there until a bit before the start. “We practiced,” she said, and she said she will wait on instruction from a higher power for her next entrance.
  • Shields was asked about the loss of the hairpiece on the top of the head of Franchon Crews-Dezurn on a DAZN/Golden Boy show. She said she texted Franchon after: “Braids, they work.” Also, she told Franchon that she thought Franchon won. Looking tired, and her body language, maybe, lost the fight for her.
  • The two-time Olympic gold medalist said that she knew the Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa vs Elin Cederroos fight would be tough. Alicia has trouble with a tall fighter, Claressa said. Also, Elin is strong, she knows that, because she hugged her, doing some intel. Alicia was going to fight Shields next if she won, which she did not, the guest told the hosts.

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