By: Hans Themistode
Claressa Shields will be looking to solidify herself as the best female boxer in the world when she takes on Ivana Habazin. The contest is slated to take place this Saturday night on October 5th, in front of Shields hometown crowd of Flint Michigan, at the Dort Federal Center.
This will be Shields first attempt at a world title in her third weight class. Earlier this year she defeated long time champion Christina Hammer to unify Middleweight titles. It was a dominant performance by Shields who made it look easy against an opponent who routinely ran through her competition before being matched up against Shields.
Now that she has conquered two separate weight divisions, she will be looking to do it in a third. This contest was originally supposed to have just the vacant WBO Jr Middleweight world title at stake. Both of these women will have even more to fight for as it was just announced that the vacant WBC belt will be on the line as well.
“The WBC is proud and happy to be part of this herstoric event”, said WBC Women’s Championship Chairman Malte Mueller-Michaelis. “Both Shields and Habazin are outstanding athletes so we are looking forward to an exciting bout.”
Shields isn’t looking to simply pick up a world title. She is also chasing history. With a victory on Saturday night she will become the fastest fighter in history to win world titles in three different weight classes. A record that is currently by pound for pound stalwart Vasiliy Lomachenko. A feat he was able to accomplish in his twelve professional contest.
In order to accomplish this feat, she will have to defeat a formidable opponent in Ivana Habazin. The aforementioned Habazin is a former Middleweight champion and has shared the ring with some of the best boxers in the world today. In 2014, she lost a close decision to the only woman who is considered to be just as talented as Shields in Cecilia Braekhus.
With just 9 fights under her belt, this would seem like a bridge too far to cross for any other fighter, but not for Shields. The two time gold medal winner believes in her skill, and so do the people who she is surrounded by.
“Winning a world title in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history is a once in a lifetime opportunity and accomplishment,” said Shields’ Manager Mark Taffet. “I know Claressa will rise to the occasion, and I’m thrilled both the WBC and WBO belts will be on the line.”
Shields is a special fighter, there is no doubt about it. With the domination she has displayed at both the Super Middleweight and Middleweight divisions, it seems like a safe bet to assume that she will have the same level of success in her new weight class. It won’t be easy on Saturday night but with two belts now up for grabs, Shields will be as motivated as ever.