Claressa Shields to challenge for world title in third weight class vs. Ivana Habazin
Shields will look to become the fastest fighter ever to claim world titles in three different divisions
Fresh off becoming the first undisputed middleweight champion in women's boxing, unbeaten Claressa Shields isn't done chasing history.
Shields (9-0, 2 KOs), the two-time Olympic gold medalist, will look to become the fastest fighter, male or female, to claim world titles in three divisions when she moves down to 154 pounds on Aug. 17.
In a "Showtime Boxing: Special Edition" card from her hometown of Flint, Michigan, the 24-year-old Shields will face former champion Ivana Habazin (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title at Dort Federal Event Center.
"It's hard to even put into words how excited I am to be returning home as undisputed champion and fighting in front of all my fans in Flint," Shields said. "And having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make August 17 a night I will cherish forever. It's another big step forward in lifting women's boxing on the road to equality."
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Making history has been a constant theme in Shields' pro career. In 2017, she captured a world title at super middleweight in just her third pro fight and unified 168-pound titles two months after that in her fourth bout. One year later, in just her sixth pro bout, Shields won a pair of titles in her second weight class at middleweight.
Shields enjoyed the breakout win of her career in April when she dominantly outpointed unbeaten Christina Hammer in a middleweight unification fight that saw her join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to become undisputed champions in the four-belt era.
Should Shields be successful in her next bout, which represents the sixth time she is headlining on Showtime, she would break the mark of unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12) by becoming a three-division champion in 10 fights.
Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), a native of Croatia, will be making her U.S. debut. The 29-year-old was a former IBF welterweight titleholder before dropping the title to Braekhus in her historic unification win.
"I will not let this opportunity pass. I'm not just coming to the U.S. to fight, I'm coming for victory," Habazin said. "I'm actually a big fan of Claressa. She made history for women's boxing and will be a great opponent for me. She's very confident in herself, she's aggressive, she can move, she has speed and good defense. But I have all of this too, and I can punch. I can't wait to see what she is made of. They said her fight against Hammer was the biggest of all time, but I think this one will be the greatest ever."
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