Winning her first Olympic Gold Medal at the age of 17, Claressa Shields is the most accomplished amateur boxer in U.S. History – male or female – and the only American boxer to capture back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games. Shields boxing gloves are enshrined at the International Boxing Hall of Fame. A trailblazer for women’s boxing, she headlined the first women’s boxing main event for premium television (SHOWTIME) in just her second professional fight.
Shields started boxing when she was 11 years old where she found solace in the sport to overcome seemingly insurmountable childhood challenges. Growing up in poverty in Flint, Michigan, she represents a beacon of hope for a working-class city that has struggled with violence, poverty and everyday essentials. A vocal advocate for social causes including the ongoing water crisis in Flint, women’s rights, and campaigning against sexual assault, Shields was given the “Key to the City” in 2012 and continues to be a role model and source of inspiration for other young women and girls and uses her platform for good, empowering others to follow their dreams. “Boxing has given me true happiness. It gives me the opportunity to inspire others to find the confidence to do what they love,” says Shields.
Among her many awards and accolades include Sports Woman of the Year (2016) by Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King; Female Fighter of the year (2017) by USA Today, Yahoo Sports; Female Fighter of the year (2018) by Boxing Writers Association of America, and beating out David Ortiz, Von Miller and Mike Trout for Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award: “Biggest Powerhouse.”