(This story first appeared in BoxingJunkie.com.)
Clarissa Shields You may want to compete exclusively in mixed martial arts if she cares about challenges. Nobody in boxing can touch it.
The previously undefeated Shields of Mary Yves Decaire made it seem as though she had no ring business with her, controlling nearly every second of each round to win the shutdown decision in a 10-round junior middleweight bout on Friday in her hometown of Flint Michigan.
In the process, the two-time Olympic champion also became the first fighter of both sexes to become the undisputed champion in two divisions in the Four-Belt Era.
Shields ‘only disappointment was that she was not able to stop Decker, which can be partly attributed to the two-minute rounds imposed on women boxers and Canadians’ reluctance to exchange punches.
“I was trying a knockout,” said Shields. “That’s what I wanted. I almost did it a few times.… At the end of the day, I am the undisputed new champion at 154 pounds – the first boxer to do so in history. And I did it here in Flint, Michigan.”
Armor (11-0, 2 KOs) is no stranger to making history.
I became a three-division champion in 10 rounds, faster than any other fighter. And she made an extra date before entering the ring on Friday, becoming the first woman to ever land the Pay-Per-View card title.
The fight itself was almost the opposite given Shields’ absolute dominance.
Decaire, who had entered the fray as a FIFA player, had no desire to mix it up with Shields. And who can blame her? Each time she did, she was greeted with powerful and precise punches winning round after round in favor of Shields.
And when Decaire (17-1, 0 KOs) let go, she hardly found the target. One of the Shields game elements that might be underestimated is their defense.
Dicaire 31 fell out of 263 punch thrown, which is an 11.8 percent connection rate, according to CompuBox. That’s a paltry average of 3.1 landed punches per round. The shields fell 128 or 409 (28.4 percent).
The only thing Decaire did well was to stay alive, which she did by holding it down and using harsh tactics in close quarters. She gave herself almost no chance to win the fight.
Almost. Dicaire endured the pacing for the last two rounds in a desperate attempt to get something done. Even then, however, it was Shields who made the cleanest, eye-catching shots.
The official registration was not surprising: all three judges were alike, 100–90. Boxing Junkie also scored the score 100-90.
Shields retained the WBC and WBO titles, earned the IBF belt from Dicaire and a recently placed WBA title.
“I’m happy to be able to do this here,” said Shields. “I started boxing here at the Dort Event Center when I was 11. I never, in a million years, thought that I would be into pay-per-view and then be undisputed twice and just be one of the biggest boxing stars in the world.
“I just wanted to win an Olympic gold medal, that’s all I wanted. I won two of them. I’ve got, I think, 12 championships now. I’m undisputed twice. It’s weird to say indisputably twice. It’s strange.”
Shields, who recently signed with the PFL, said she plans to rotate and compete in mixed martial arts. She said after the fight on Friday that she expected her debut in mid-June, although that has apparently not been finalized.
That doesn’t leave her much time to enjoy her victory.
“My birthday is March 17th. Then we go back to the gym,” said Shields, who is 26.