Claressa Shields expertly conquered the Canadian Marie-Eve Dicaire to become the only person to be undisputed in two separate weight classes.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Claressa Shields put on a masterful display over Marie-Eve Dicaire on Friday, Mar 5, in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, at the Dort Financial Center. The fight was for the unification of the women’s light middleweight division. Shields handily defeated the previously undefeated Dicaire and became the first person since the beginning of the four-belt era in 2004 to hold all four belts in two separate divisions, light middleweight and middleweight.
The judges scored the fight wholly in favor of Shields. Despite an evident and one-sided fight, Shields wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. Shields wanted to achieve a knockout.
“She never really wanted to win the fight,” Shields said. “She just wanted to be able to say she went all 10, which I don’t have that kind of mentality. To me, that’s weak, and I’d rather go down on my shield any day and give it a good fight.
“But she wanted to stay away. She wanted to hold. She wanted to elbow and do all that crazy stuff. I felt like I was winning the fight, but I didn’t get to display what I wanted to display.”
Shields believes that the biggest reason for her inability to finish the fight the way she intended to was that women boxers fight two-minute rounds, unlike the three minutes that men do. She added that women MMA fighters get more respect than women boxers because they fight five-minute rounds just like the men.
The fight was the main event of an all-female pay per view, the first time there was a women’s fight headlining a PPV since 2001 when Layla Ali fought Jacqui Frazier-Lyde. The event was organized by Shields’ promoter, and former professional fighter Dmitry Salita who Shields believes was able to get her a deal that was worth her time. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight was supposed to occur on Showtime, who was reportedly going to pay Shields $400,000.
When sports were able to return to the public, Shields found that there weren’t any avenues for the fight to occur. Shields found that as women’s sports were already forced to play second fiddle to men’s sports, she would have to take a chance. This was when Salita and Shields came up with an idea to put on an all women’s event.
Shields intends to use the pay per view as a stepping stone for growth in earnings for women’s sports. Shields, who has conquered two Olympic games and two weight divisions, is now poised to make her professional MMA debut in June of this year as a part of the Professional Fighters League.