Claressa Shields understands that the fight with the British 154-pound champions Terri Harper or Natasha Jonas is more suitable, but still she does not abandon her favorite sport.
“If Katie can get bigger,” Shields told BoxingScene.com, “I think that would be a dream fight, me and Katie at 147.”
For Katie, of course, the Shields refer to women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor. The Shields are too big for Taylor, who will have to move up two weight classes to face the Shields at the welterweight limit, which would require the Shields to drop two divisions.
The match between Savannah Marshall and Amanda Serrano will also be a big fight between Shields and Taylor, but the 27-year-old Shields sees the undefeated fight between her and Taylor as “the best fight in boxing.” Ireland’s Taylor (21-0, 6 KOs) will defend her IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 135-pound championships against Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal (19-0, 2 KOs) on Saturday night at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
“I believe that Katie is a true competitor,” said Shields, who started her career as a middleweight at 168 pounds. “I know size is important in boxing. But again, when you have experience, it’s skill and skill, size doesn’t matter and hitting ability doesn’t matter. I think it’s going to be a great match between me and her – who’s faster, who has more game plan, who has more IQ.”
Shields admitted, however, that she is not sure that the 36-year-old Taylor will move to 147 pounds, although Shields will also make a significant sacrifice by making this weight for the first time as a professional boxer. Taylor outpointed Greece’s Christina Linardatou (then 12-1) in her 140-pound bout to win the WBO welterweight title in November 2019 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
“I don’t know if she will ever be interested in it because I felt before she could hardly [get up] to 140, so she’s definitely not going to 147,” said Shields. “But this will definitely be the biggest fight in boxing – not just for women, but boxing.”
Shields (13-0, 2 KOs), a divisional champion from Flint, Michigan, once again avenged her loss in the boxing ring. The two-time Olympic gold medalist withstood the power of Marshall Marshall (12-1, 10 KOs) and outclassed her opponent in their 10-round middleweight bout on October 15 at the O2 Stadium. A sold out arena in London.
Taylor, meanwhile, is listed by most sportsbooks as at least a 25-1 favorite over the untested Carabajal. Taylor-Carabajal will be broadcast worldwide by DAZN as the main event of the eight-round card on Saturday (7 pm BST; 2 pm ET).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/writer for BoxingScene.com. He can be found on Twitter @Idecboxing.