Claressa Shields is in confident mood as she looks to make more boxing history on Friday night.
The highly-decorated two-time Olympic gold medalist battles women’s IBF light-middleweight title-holder Marie-Eve Dicaire of Canada in her hometown of Flint, Michigan.
Having previously achieved the feat at middleweight, Shields is now seeking to become an undisputed world champion in a second weight division as she also puts her WBC and WBO belts on the line as well as competing for the vacant WBA (Super) and The Ring titles.
The 25-year-old – who was also a two-time world champion as an amateur – also previously reigned as the unified super-middleweight champion and remains unbeaten in 10 fights as a professional, easily defeating Croatia’s Ivana Habazin on her last outing in Atlantic City in January 2020 to become the quickest three-division world champion in boxing history.
Speaking ahead of her meeting with Dicaire on Friday, Shields confidently declared herself as the second best boxer in history behind only the iconic Muhammad Ali and said that “98 per cent of men” could not beat her.
“I don’t box for a hobby. It’s not a hobby. It’s my career, and I feel like people underestimate me when I speak about how great I am,” she said.
“But if I didn’t say how great I am, no one in this room would have ever called me great because they don’t recognise it. Only the greats know that they’re great.
“Like Muhammad Ali. Nobody called him the greatest of all time. They actually called him the ‘Louisville Lip’ because he talked too much.
“If he had never said he was the greatest of all time, he would have never been considered the greatest. No matter what boxer comes along, nobody can get in front of Muhammad Ali. That’s how I feel about myself.
“Muhammad Ali is first, and Claressa Shields is second. I am the greatest woman of all time, and 98 per cent of men in the world can’t beat me.”