Claressa Maria Shields is an American professional boxer, at 17-years-old, Shields became the first US woman to ever win a gold medal in boxing at the 2012 London Olympics, and officially became the youngest Olympic boxing champion since 1924 .
Despite her difficult childhood, the now 24-year-old has proven time and time again that she is a force to reckon with in the ring as she remains undefeated after 9 fights and She is currently a unified world champion in two weight classes.
Growing up, Claressa didn’t always have food on the table, she grew up in a rough area of Michigan, Her father who introduced her to boxing was in jail until she was nine-years-old for a breaking-and-entering conviction,Though he spent some time in prison, he was also an underground street fighter, and her mother, struggled with drug addiction and “had a steady stream of men coming and going.” Shields was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriends. Shields started boxing at age 11, She found strength in her Christian faith and eventually left home at an early age.
As an amateur, Shields won a gold medal in the women’s middleweight division at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, making her the first American boxer—female or male—to win consecutive Olympic medals. Shields was the youngest boxer at the February 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, winning the event in the 165 lb (75 kg) middleweight division
She has held the IBF female super middleweight title since 2017, the WBA and IBF female middleweight titles since June 2018, and the WBC female super middleweight title since November 2018. In April, 2019 American Claressa Shields maintained her unbeaten record and unified the women’s middleweight division with a unanimous decision win over Christina Hammer.
Shields credits her grandmother with encouraging her to not accept restrictions based on her gender.
After her record breaking win, Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry tweeted her support for Shields, dubbing her a “star of the sport”.