Claressa Shields

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Claressa Shields
Claressa Shields - PopTech 2012.jpg
Shields in 2012
Rated at Middleweight, 165 lb (75 kg)[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[2]
Nationality American
Born (1995-03-17) March 17, 1995 (age 21)[2]
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights 78
Wins 77 [3]
Wins by KO 18[4][5][6]
Losses 1[4]

Claressa Shields (born March 17, 1995)[2] is an American boxer.

She won the gold in Women's Middleweight Boxing at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which made her the first American boxer, male or female, to win an Olympic title twice in a row.[7]

She was the youngest boxer at the February 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, where she won the 165-pound weight class.[8][9] In May 2012, Shields qualified to compete at the 2012 Olympics, the first year that women's boxing was an Olympic event.[10] At the London Olympic games in August 2012, she became the first U.S. woman to win a boxing[11] gold medal. She won the 2012 Olympic middleweight title by defeating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova and the 2016 title by defeating Dutch boxer Nouchka Fontijn.


Shields boxing at Canada in 2015

Shields was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, where she was a high school junior in May 2012.[1][8] She was introduced to boxing by her father, Bo Shields, who had boxed in underground leagues.[8][12] Bo was in prison from the time Shields was two years old, and released when she was nine. After his release he talked to her about boxer Laila Ali, piquing her interest in the sport, although Bo nevertheless believed that boxing was a men's sport and refused to allow Shields to pursue it until she was eleven.[8][12][13] At that time she began boxing at Berston Field House in Flint, where she met her coach and trainer, Jason Crutchfield.[12] Shields credits her grandmother with encouraging her to not accept restrictions based on her gender.[8]

After winning two Junior Olympic championships Shields competed in her first open-division tournament, the National Police Athletic League Championships 2011; she won the middleweight title and was named top overall fighter as well as qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials.[2][14] At the trials in she defeated the reigning national champion, Franchon Crews, the 2010 world champion, Andrecia Wasson, and Pittsburgh's Tika Hemingway to win the middleweight class.[2][8] In April 2011, she won her weight class at the Women's Elite Continental Championships in Cornwall, Ontario against three-time defending world champion Mary Spencer of Canada; she held an undefeated record of 25 wins and 0 losses at that point.[8][12][15]

Following Shields' victory at the U.S. Olympic trials, it was initially reported that she would need only a top-8 finish at the 2012 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.[9] On May 10, the day after the contest began but before Shields' first bout, a change to the rules was announced that meant Shields would need to place in the top two from the (North, Central, and South) American Boxing Confederation region of AIBA (AMBC).[16] Shields won her first round, but suffered an upset loss in the second round on May 13 to Savannah Marshall of England, bringing Shields' record to 26-1.[4] Her chances for qualification thus depended on Marshall's subsequent performance; after Marshall advanced to the middleweight finals on May 18, it was announced that Shields had earned an Olympic berth. She won a gold medal in the end, after beating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova 19–12.[10][17]

In 2014, Shields won the World Championships.[18]

In 2015, Shields became the first American to win titles in women's boxing at the Olympics and Pan American games.[19]

In 2016, Shields won gold at the 2016 AMBC Olympic Qualifying tournament in Argentina.[20]

She won the gold at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics by defeating Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, the only American gold medalist in the team, and awarded the inaugural women's division of the Val Barker Trophy at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Shields attempted to adopt her cousin's daughter in 2014.[22]


Shields is the subject of 2015 documentary "T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold."[23][24] In 2016 Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast, which holds Olympic broadcast rights in the United States, acquired the rights to produce a film about her life story.[25]

Shields will be acting in the Susan Seidelman-directed film Punch Me.[26]


  1. ^ a b O'Riordan, Ian. "Women's boxing – in a New Yorker state of mind.", May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Boxer Claressa Shields could be Olympic teen star." Associated Press, February 17, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "Niyo: Flint's Claressa Shields fighting for her future". 
  4. ^ a b c Woodyard, Eric. "First amateur loss frustrates Flint boxer Claressa Shields, she expected a victory." Flint Journal, May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  5. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (July 24, 2015). "Claressa Shields: I would fight Ronda Rousey". 
  6. ^ "Hundreds attend Flint premiere of Claressa Shields 'T-Rex' documentary". 
  7. ^ "Claressa Shields Successfully Defends Her Olympic Title". 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Claressa Shields determined to make London Olympics." USA Today, May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields takes next step toward Olympics on Friday." Detroit Free Press, May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields, 17, qualifies for Olympics." Detroit Free Press, May 18, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Maese, Rick (August 12, 2012). "Claressa Shields wins only gold medal for U.S. boxing at London Olympics, and the first by a woman". Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d Parish, Christopher. "A fighting chance.", May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "Straight Out of Flint: Girl Boxer Aims for Olympics." NPR, February 27, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  14. ^ Blanchette, John. "Spotlight finds teen." The Spokesman-Review, February 14, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  15. ^ "Flint teen aims to be 1 of the first female boxers at Olympics." WDIV, April 18, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  16. ^ Barnas, Jo-Ann. "Flint boxer Claressa Shields' path to Olympics changes course." Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  17. ^ "Olympics boxing: Claressa Shields takes middleweight gold for USA". Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (November 20, 2014). "Claressa Shields wins first World Championships bout in 11 seconds (video)". 
  19. ^ "Flint's Claressa Shields to serve as flag bearer at Pan-Am close". 
  20. ^ "Flint boxer Claressa Shields wins gold at 2016 Americas Qualifier in Argentina". 
  21. ^ "Golden again! Flint's Claressa Shields defends Olympic boxing title". Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  22. ^ "With her life in order, Claressa Shields has eye on second Olympic gold in Rio". October 25, 2015. 
  23. ^ "T-Rex". June 24, 2016 – via IMDb. 
  24. ^ "T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold - Documentary about Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields - Independent Lens - PBS". 
  25. ^ Niyo, John (3 August 2016). "Niyo: Flint's Claressa Shields fighting for her future". The Detroit News. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  26. ^

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