Claressa Shields dominates Ivana Habazin, becomes fastest fighter to win titles in three weight classes
Shields had no trouble with her rival while claiming a world title in a third weight class
After all the noise, which included an assault at the weigh-in for their originally scheduled Oct. 5 bout, Claressa Shields was simply too good for Ivana Habazin in their fight for the vacant WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles.
Fighting behind flowing combinations, Shields (10-0, 2 KOs) overwhelmed Habazin (20-4, 7 KOs) from Round 1, strongly targeting the body early. That work paid off in Round 6 when she cracked Habizin to the ribs, leading to a knockdown -- the first scored by Shields in her career -- on the delayed reaction. Habazin, who had criticized Shields' power -- or lack thereof -- in the lead-up to the fight, was able to rise to her feet and continue to battle to the final bell after 10 rounds of action, mildly proving one point if nothing else.
Habazin's most notable moments came when she would try to roughhouse, latching on to Shields and wrestling her back into the ropes. But the punch stats told the story of the fight, with Shields landing 141 punches to Habazin's 49. Shields was dominant enough to begin showboating in between combinations with no fear of incoming punches, especially true because Habazin had no clearly-defined strategy for how to close distance on the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
The official scorecards after 10 rounds read 99-89, 100-90 and 100-89. With the victory, Shields became the fastest fighter in boxing history to win world titles in three separate weight classes. Shields also achieved that record by moving down in weight from her first title rather than the boxing standard of slowly moving upward through the weight classes.
"We spent so many months in camp for this fight," Shields said after her win. "It wasn't what I wanted, but I'm happy with the improvement. I did it in 10 fights. I'm the fastest fighter in history to win titles in three weights.
"I think Ivana can take a piece of humble pie and go back to Croatia."
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