This story was updated Saturday, March 6th, 2021.

Last night Claressa Shields won the right to call herself GWOAT, Greatest Woman of All Time, becoming the first woman fighter, to win an undisputed championship in two weight classes, by beating contender Marie-Eve Dicaire, for the title of World Champion, Junior Middleweight Division. Shields was already the reigning titleholder in the Middleweight division, and now she can wear her GWOAT ring with pride.

An outspoken advocate of equal pay and gender equality in the sport of boxing, and in every arena, Shields is putting her hard work and right cross hook where her mouth is, by drawing an ever-growing number of fans to the still mainstreaming sport of female boxing. She is also taking the gloves off to compete in mixed martial arts, and we can expect to hear more from her in the future. already the only boxer, man or woman to ever win two back-to-back Olympic Gold Medals, Shields' star is on the rise.

On March 5th Sheilds entered the ring n her hometown of Flint Michigan for her first-ever home-town bout, to show that: 1. Plant-based athletes kick-ass and 2. Equality for women all over the world still has a long way to go. (Perhaps not in that order.) The fight was dedicated to raising awareness for women's equality and pay equity in advance if International Women's Day, which is Monday, March 8th.

Equality, Pay Equity, and Fighting for What's Right

Shields is a great ambassador for both causes since she has been fighting and winning since she was 17 when she won her first Olympic Gold Medal in 2012 in London, England. Never count a vegan or plant-based athlete out. Novak Djokovic just won his ninth grand slam, at the Australian Open, on a plant-based diet. Tom Brady just won his seventh Superbowl Ring on a mostly plant-based diet. World Class Champion Surfer Tia Blanco wins her meets on a plant-based diet, and next, Claressa Shields is going to show that she can prevail, be her strongest and perform at the highest levels of her sport, on a plant-based diet of vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Most athletes who have ditched meat and dairy said they do it to lower inflammation in the body, which helps their circulation, oxygen uptake, endurance, strength, and injury prevention. All of them say it helps with faster recovery times so they can go crush it again the next day, without a "down day" between sessions.

Shields took on Marie-Eve Dicaire in one of the most important matches of her career. The event was held at the Dort Financial Center in Flint, on March 5 at 9 pm. The fight was sponsored by Vejii, the new vegan online market where you buy everything you want for a plant-based diet in one place.

"It just don't feel real to say undisputed twice," Shields told reporters, according to DAZN News, after adding the undisputed Junior Middleweight crown to the undisputed Middleweight title that she already owned. "It's kind of weird. It's like some epic s—t."

Her one goal that remained unachieved: She wanted the K.O. she told reporters. "I was trying to get the knockout," Shields said. "That's what I really wanted. I'm happy, but I still wanted the KO. I just didn't have enough time."

DAZN reported the reigning champ ended the press interview with: "Pacquiao who? Canelo who? It's Claressa Shields, yes!" She was referring of course to Manny Pacquiao, the much-decorated Filipino boxer, now a Senator in the Philippines, and "Canelo" Álvarez, the Mexican pro boxer who has won multiple world championships. "Two-time undisputed. When someone else does it, let me know! It ain't been done. It's just me."

Shields comes from a family of boxers and won her first Olympic Gold at age 17

Shields was a decorated amateur boxing career, winning her first Olympic gold medal at 17 in 2012. She turned pro after defending her middleweight gold medal in Rio in 2016, she turned professional. In addition to her two Olympic gold medals, she has won nine world championship belts in the sport. Shields, 25, is the defending WBC and WBO light-middleweight champion. In her fight with Dicaire, she’ll put those belts on the line.

“I think it brings a lot more power, a lot more experience. I really think that I’m not just into only boxing. I’m a lot stronger at places where I really had strength at before. So I’m really excited about March 5th and bringing some of that to the table.”

Shields certainly has every right to be "super excited" about this bucket list event, since she grew up not too far from the arena, and learned to love the sport of boxing through her father Bo, a former boxer. “I really started boxing for my dad so that he can live his life through me,” she said. “And I didn't know that boxing was destined for what I would do. I just did it because I wanted to make my dad happy," she also told Team USA.

Claressa Shields Fights For Equality

For Sheilds, there's only one perfect time to do what she loves, but since March is Women's History Month and International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8th, this fight, in particular, is destined to be the moment to prove everything she believes: "We're as great as the men."

In an interview with Fox Business, Shields pointed out that women don't get as much money as men in many sports but specifically in boxing because women are held at a maximum of 10 rounds whereas men can fight for 12 rounds, but she would be willing to compete for the entire round if they let her. Men and women deserve equal pay, and we are here to stay," she said.

“I have been very vocal about (women’s sports) but after being vocal now you have to take action. And right here is taking action,” Shields said. “Not being given chances by networks that don’t want to pay us what we want or need to be paid. … This is where it all starts. And to me, this is taking a stand for equal pay and equal fight time.”

The List of Vegan Athletes is Expanding with the Help of People Just Like Shields

The ever-growing number of vegan athletes includes all-star players like world-class surfer Tia Blanco, Chris Paul, Lewis Hamilton, and many more. If you feel inspired to ditch meat and dairy to improve performance, watch The Game Changers documentary and learn from the professionals who credit their vegan diet for helping them get to number one ranking or earn titles bigger than imagined, like 'Strongest Man in the World."

20 Athletes Who Went Vegan to Get Stronger


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