CLARESSA SHIELDS DOMINATES MARIE-EVE DICAIRE

Women’s superstar Claressa Shields furthered her claim as boxing’s “GWOAT” Friday night and became the unified WBC, WBO, IBF & WBA Super Junior Middleweight World Champion, by scoring a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision over Marie-Eve Dicaire of St-Eustache, Quebec, Canada, in the 10-round main event of the historic all-women’s “SUPERWOMEN: SHIELDS VS. DICAIRE event at the Dort Financial Center and live on pay-per-view in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Shields (11-0, 2 KOs) also became the first boxer in the four-belt era to become an undisputed world champion in two weight divisions by virtue of her shutout victory (100-90 by all three judges) over now former champion Dicaire (17-1).

Uncharacteristically, the 25-year-old Shields turned counterpuncher early in this fight, to offset Dicaire’s attempts to bounce in and out of range. Relying on her reflexes to punish any attempt at aggression by Dicaire, Shields shut the Canadian down and then turned back to her customary forward aggression later in the bout.

Dicaire landed a quality southpaw left on Shields in round four, possibly her only significant blow of the fight, and Shields simply shook it off to no effect.

I can’t be mad about my performance,” said Shields after the bout. “She just kept elbowing and headbutting me. I tried for the knockout and I almost had it a couple times, but we’ve got two minutes and the ref not breaking it up when she’s holding me and elbowing me. I’m happy but I still wanted the knockout. I just didn’t have enough time. At the end of the day, I am the new undisputed champ at 154 and the first boxer to be undisputed champ twice.”

Shields said she was happy to have accomplished her latest piece of history in front of her family and friends in Flint, even if the pandemic meant a lot fewer fans in attendance.

“With Covid, we couldn’t have a full capacity. There are 300 here and that’s the capacity of the day, so we have a full house. We couldn’t have full capacity, but I know if we could have, we would have had 6000 people in here. I’m happy to have been able to do it here (in Flint). I started boxing here at Berston Fieldhouse at 11 years old. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on pay-per-view and fighting for an undisputed title and be one of the biggest stars in boxing. I just wanted to win an Olympic Gold medal. God has given me two Olympic medals. I have 12 championship belts now. It doesn’t feel real to say undisputed twice.”

When asked about two of her remaining rivals in boxing, fellow superstar Katie Taylor of Ireland and her one-time conqueror in the amateurs, Savannah Marshall of the UK, Shields brimmed with confidence.

“Katie Taylor is not the worry. 147 pounds is. They’d have to pay me a lot to lose my butt and go down to 147. At the end of the day, I’m a woman. I don’t have big breasts, but I got a nice butt, so come with that dough and I’ll be there. At least a million and I’ll be there.

“Savannah Marshall can’t f* with me. Let’s keep it real. Savannah Marshall, you won a lucky decision when we were kids. Also London was hosting the Olympics. If you want to gloat about beating me 14 points to 8… come on now. And then I went on to become world champion in three different division and she broke. She knows she cannot and will not ever be able to f* with me. She can come to America. I will go to the UK. We can go to Mexico. We can go anywhere, and I will f*** her up. She knows that. She’s scared of me. Savannah Marshall can get it. Tell Eddie Hearn, he came that whack-ass 250K. Tell him to come with 500K… 750K if he wants me to go to the UK and smoke his girl. Pay me.”

Dicaire continued her graciousness in post-fight questioning and promised not to let the loss dampen her future in the sport.

“I think Claressa did a good job tonight,” said Dicaire. “Tonight, she was the best. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. Tonight, I learned. I think this is just going to allow me to grow stronger. I don’t box to protect my record or keep my record at 0 losses. I box to beat champions. Tonight, I had the chance to fight the real champion. She won this time but count on me to go back to the gym and work hard and be world champion again for sure.

Shields, who says her much-publicized MMA debut will likely be in Las Vegas in June, threw 409 punches in the fight and landed 128 including 34.9% of her power punches. Dicaire threw 263 punches in return but landed just 31.

“Flint Michigan got the baddest boxer in the world!” said Shields to her fans. “We two-time undisputed. Pacquiao who? Canelo who? When someone else does what I did let me know.”

In the night’s co-main event, Houston’s undefeated Danielle Perkins (3-0, 1 KO) showed marked improvement and had a much easier time in her rematch against Georgia’s Monika “Lay Em Down” Harrison (2-2, 1 KO), scoring a dominant eight-round unanimous decision while picking up the WBC Silver Heavyweight Championship in the process.

The former amateur world champion Perkins used every bit of her superior athleticism, 6’ height and 72-inch reach to move around the ring and keep the 5’ 10” Harrison at bay with a punishing southpaw right jab and a steady diet of strong left hands to the head and body. At times, Referee Michael Griffin appeared to be considering a stoppage, but the durable Harrison kept coming forward and swinging for the fences for all eight rounds, despite the firepower coming her way.

The scores were 80-72 from all three judges.

“I apologize for not getting a knockout. I swear next time I’ll come back and give it to you, Flint,” said Perkins, post-fight. “Monika made some adjustments this time. I hit her with some solid hammers and that girl stayed on her feet so kudos to her.”

Perkins threw 353 punches in the fight and landed 121 including 40.9% of her power shots. Harrison threw 273 shots, but only found a home for 21 of them.

“I want to be the undisputed female heavyweight champion of the world,” continued Perkins. “I want to be the best you’ve ever seen.”

Undefeated bantamweight Jamie “The Miracle” Mitchell (6-0-2, 43 KOs) of Pacific Grove, California, looked impressive in battering and stopping more-experienced veteran Noemi “La Rebelde / No-No” Bosques (12-16-3, 2 KOs) in five one-sided rounds.

With the two-fisted punishment from Mitchell steadily increasing with every passing round, Referee Gerard White decided the stumbling and retreating Bosques had had enough and mercifully waved the fight off at 1:49 of the fifth.

“I was just zoned out. I was doing whatever fit the moment,” said Mitchell, post-fight. “That’s how I got the knockout. Thanks to my coaches and thanks to Claressa Shields for putting me on this card. This is an unforgettable moment for women.”

Prior to scoring the technical knockout, Mitchell landed 48% (80/167) of her power punches, and 40% (94/234) of her total punches. Noemi Bosques only landed 24 of 153 punches.

“I like to pick on myself to do better,” said Mitchell of her performance. “There were certain things I wanted to do, but they don’t call this girl a gatekeeper for nothing. I wish I had gotten her out of there quicker and been crisper with my jab. She was a bit tricky.”

In the opening bout of the broadcast, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) stayed busy ahead of her scheduled challenge of WBC Flyweight Champion Ibeth Zamora in April with a dominant six-round unanimous decision over Canada’s Shelly Barnett (now 4-4-2, 2 KO).

Barnett tried to be aggressive, but Esparza’s skills allowed her to pot shot her bigger opponent, nearly at will, especially as the fight wore on. “We knew she was tough and bigger,” said Esparza. “I wanted someone with more weight because I never fight above 112 lbs. and I think I handled it well. I’m happy about the way everything played out. I’m happy to have been part of this event and to be working with Claressa again.”

Esparza threw 352 punches in the fight, landing 126, including 26 body shots and 38.4% of her power shots. Barnett threw 291 and landed 49. The judges’ scores were 60-54, 6-53 x 2.

On the free pre-show portion of the pay-per-view, middleweight Timur Kerefov stayed undefeated (11-0, 6 KOs) with a TKO 3 over Saint Petersburg, Florida veteran Manny Woods (now 16-11-1, 6 KOs). Woods left eye couldn’t hold up under the onslaught of punches from the Russian former amateur star. The time was 1:06. Kerefov, Detroit via Shalushka, Russia and now training at Kronk Gym, threw 190 punches in the abbreviated encounter, landing 80, including 24 body shots. Woods threw 122 and landed just 17.

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