Claressa Shields labels herself a 'once in a century kind of athlete' as she prepares to make boxing history against Ivana Habazin
American boxing superstar Claressa Shields believes she should be considered the greatest female fighter of all time if she beats Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City on Friday.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist is aiming to win a world title in a third weight class in just her 10th professional fight, something no man or woman has ever done.
And Shields, who has already won belts at super middleweight and become undisputed middleweight champion, believes she is at her best in her new weight class of super welterweight.
“I’m a once in a century kind of athlete," she said. "I guarantee it’s going to be over before six rounds. And I say six because I’m punching different. I’m stronger at 154. I’m faster.
“I just try to keep carrying women’s boxing the best way that I can. I’m regarded as a top 10 fighter in boxing already with only nine fights. When you have that kind of pressure you have to go out and not be average. Skill wise, there’s not a woman that can compare to me. I can do everything. I can box, I can brawl, I can stand in front of you toe-to-toe.
"When I win this fight I’m just going to get a little bit louder with 'She’s the GWOAT, Greatest Women Of All Time. Put it there. I claim it."
The bout with Habazin was initially slated for October last year in the American's home town of Flint, Michigan, but was postponed when a member of Shields' team attacked her opponent's trainer at the weigh-in.
A whole lot of trash talk has been exchanged between the two fighters, including Habazin suggesting Shields struggles to make the 154 pound weight limit.
But the US boxer, whose alias is 'T-Rex', dismissed the claims and is adamant her Croat adversary will be utterly blown away in the ring.
“After everything happened in Flint, I had a conversation with Stephen Espinoza and he just told me to stay focused," she added. "Everyone who was in Flint and knows about the incident that happened knows it’s not something I have a history of doing.
"I don’t do stuff outside the ring. One of the things she said that was really disrespectful was that I didn’t make weight for October 4. Don’t believe the lies. I made 154 pounds and I’m going to be a three-division world champion come Friday.
"Ivana doesn’t stand a chance. I’m sorry, I’m just going to keep it real. She’s not as skilled as Christina Hammer. She worked her way up, but once a quitter, always a quitter."