'I'm pound for pound the best boxer and Katie Taylor is second', says Claressa Shields
Undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields believes she is pound-for-pound the best in women's boxing, with Katie Taylor closely behind her in second.
The 24-year-old American made history in January when she became a three-weight world champion in the fewest number of fights ever by a man or woman, winning the WBC and WBO Super Welterweight titles in just her tenth pro bout.
And while Taylor is also an undisputed champion in the lightweight division and recently moved up to become a two-weight belt holder herself, Shields is adamant she remains above the Irish superstar in the pecking order.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, she said: "I like the way she fights, I have been a fan of hers since I was younger.
"She has a problem with pressure fighters. All her team have to do is acknowledge that and if she fixes that then me and her can be in competition about who is [the best] pound-for-pound. Right now, I'm pound-for-pound the best and Katie Taylor is second."
Shields has recently been linked with a fight against Laila Ali, who retired in 2007 undefeated, after a number of verbal exchanges.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist is confident that the grudge match is the one that people want to see and that they are simply waiting for someone to come up with the money.
"She [Ali] wanted $5m and I wanted $10m for the winner," Shields added.
"It's the fight that everyone wants to see so all somebody has to do is put the money up and we'll both show up and give each other hell.
"I take the toughest challenges and fight against the best women. With that attitude, I will always be doing something big. I'm light-years ahead of my time. Being a woman fighter, I can't just go out there and manhandle a girl, I need to be very strategic, use my skills, head movement and defence, then seek and destroy."