Claressa Shields dominated once again, returning home to Flint, Mich., to win a wide unanimous decision over Marie-Eve Dicaire, unifying all four belts at 154 lbs and becoming a two-eight undisputed champion.
Shields (11-0, 2 KO) won on scores of 100-90 from all three judges. Bad Left Hook was slightly more generous to Dicaire (17-1, 0 KO), which is to say we nicked her the ninth round and had it 99-91 for Shields.
Shields, 25, looked like she wanted the knockout, but as usual it never came and never seemed particularly close to happening. But she pretty much had her way against the 34-year-old Canadian, whose jittery energy never really settled, and Dicaire failed to build any real rhythm in the bout, with Shields yet again just wildly outclassing her opposition.
Shields retained the WBC and WBO titles, added Dicaire’s IBF belt, and also picked up the previously vacant WBA title.
“100-90, I can’t be mad about it. But she just kept headbutting me and elbowing me. I was trying to get a knockout, that’s what I wanted, and it almost happened a couple times, but we got two minutes, and then we got the ref breaking it up when she’s holding and fucking elbowing me,” Shields said. “But at the end of the day, I am the new undisputed champion at 154, first boxer in history to do it, undisputed twice.”
Shields plans next to make her MMA debut with PFL, likely in June, but does want to box again this year. She was asked about a couple of fights, first a bout at 147 against current 135-pound undisputed champion Katie Taylor, which makes, I suppose, some kind of sense.
“Katie Taylor is not the worry, the 147 is. Katie is a great fighter. They gotta pay me a lotta money for me to lose my butt to go down to 147,” Shields joked. “At the end of the day, I’m a woman, and that’s something I love about my body. I don’t have no big breasts but I got a nice butt, and I would lose that going to 147. They need to come with that dough, at least with a million. Talk to me nice.”
The other question was about her old amateur rival Savannah Marshall, who holds a middleweight title, and Shields was far more animated about that one.
“Savannah Marshall can’t fuck with me. Let’s keep it real. Savannah Marshall, you won a lucky decision when we was kids. I was 17. Also, London was hosting the Olympics. She knows,” Shields said.
“If you wanna blow about you beating me eight points to 14, come on now. Then you let me become champion in three different weight classes and you’re pro? Make it make sense. Savannah Marshall knows she cannot and will not ever be able to fuck with me. She can come to America, I can go to the UK, we can go to Mexico, wherever Savannah Marshall wants to go, I will fuck her up. Literally. She knows that.
“She’s scared of me. I’ve been wanting smoke for years. Savannah Marshall can get it. Tell Eddie Hearn, he came with that wack ass $250,000, he better come with $500K, $750K if he wants me to come over there and smoke his girl.”
Shields-Marshall is probably the fight that makes the most sense, but whether Shields can get an offer for it that she likes remains to be seen. Otherwise, it is somewhat tough to figure out where she goes from here in boxing, because she’s basically beaten everyone there is to beat at the weights she can comfortably make.
- Danielle Perkins UD-8 Monika Harrison: These two fought last August, it wasn’t competitive then and wasn’t here. The 38-year-old Perkins (3-0, 1 KO) is now the WBC “silver” heavyweight titlist, for whatever that’s worth, which if we’re being honest, like, not a ton. There are 13 ranked heavyweights in the world for women’s boxing on BoxRec. Two of the top four are 51 years old. Harrison (2-2-1, 1 KO) is a tough, tough woman but she hasn’t won a round out of 12 against Perkins over two fights. Perkins can fight, good athlete, but there’s almost nobody out there for her to fight, really, and she’d have to get down to 168 to find anyone particularly good; we’re talking over 30 pounds to drop there, and she’s six feet tall and solidly built at 200.
- Jamie Mitchell TKO-5 Noemi Bosques: One-way traffic here. Mitchell, 36, was a good amateur fighter, but hadn’t fought since a 2019 draw with current BKFC superstar Britain Hart. She looked really sharp here. Bosques (12-16-3, 2 KO) took this on short notice, but has been in with a lot of solid fighters over the years. Mitchell (6-0-2, 4 KO) dominated here, and had Bosques hurt in the fourth and again in the fifth. The stoppage was a little oddly-timed, but it’s another fight where if the minutes were three rounds (like Esparza-Barnett just below this in the recap), we probably get a much more definitive stoppage. Mitchell could certainly contend at 118 or 122, she was dialed in and looked really good here, and at her age might as well go for it soon if possible.
- Marlen Esparza UD-6 Shelly Barnett: Esparza is a flyweight by trade and has a title fight with Ibeth Zamora lined up, possibly for April, but she fought on 10 days notice as a bantamweight here because she wanted to be on the card. Esparza did fine the first two rounds, really warmed up in the third, and the dominated the last three rounds to the point that if women’s fights had three-minute rounds, she would have gotten a stoppage. Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) totally battered Barnett (4-4-2, 0 KO) in the fourth and fifth rounds in particular, landing loads of left-hand counters and lead rights, doing visible damage to Barnett, who was over-matched in terms of talent, but is a tough scrapper and always comes to fight. But Esparza out-landed her 126-49 overall, and landed at a much higher connect rate (36% to 17%).
- Timur Kerefov TKO-3 Manny Woods: This one aired free on the pre-show, with the 31-year-old middleweight Kerefov — a decorated Russian amateur whose pro career has been all baby steps despite an advanced age — improving to 11-0 (6 KO) via stoppage on a cut in the third round. The cut wasn’t bad in terms of blood loss but was in a horrible spot on the left eye of Woods (16-11-1, 6 KO), and he couldn’t really open the eye at all. Woods, 33, has now lost five straight, all by stoppage, and seven of his last eight dating back to 2016. Gets Kerefov busy, but not a big win or anything, basically expected other than the method.