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Flint's Claressa Shields named 'Women's Boxing Athlete of the Decade'

Claressa Shields
Posted at 3:44 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 15:44:05-05

(WXYZ) — Flint native Claressa Shields isn't even 25, but she has been named The Sporting News' Women's Boxing Athlete of the Decade.

Shields, who is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2012 and 2016), didn't even turn professional until November 2016.

"The second woman to ever be crowned an undisputed world champion gets the nod for Sporting News' best female boxer of the decade — and that's with fewer than 10 pro fights on her ledger," The Sporting News wrote.

She is 9-0 in her career and has world championships in two divisions as well as an undisputed champion in the middleweight division.

Her next fight is scheduled for Jan. 10 for the WBC and WBO Junior Middleweight titles against Ivana Habazin. If she wins, The Sporting News said she'd be the fastest boxer in history, man or woman, to become a three-division world champion.

"At 24, there's no reason to believe that Claressa Shields can't be the best in the next decade, too. In just nine pro fights from 2016 to 2019, the Flint, Mich., native did more than enough to reign as the Sporting News women's boxing Athlete of the Decade. Now, just imagine what she could do with a fuller body of work, beginning in January with her fight against Habazin," the website writes.

Other Sporting News athletes of the decade are:

NFL - Tom Brady
MLB - Mike Trout
NHL - Sidney Crosby
NBA - LeBron James
College football - Deshaun Watson
College basketball - Jalen Brunson
Men's soccer - Lionel Messie
Women's soccer - Carli Lloyd
Men's boxing - Floyd Mayweather
Men's MMA - Jon Jones
Women's MMA - Amanda Nunes