Claressa Shields: Mental Is Key To Boxing, MMA Balance

Claressa Shields

For Claressa Shields, being mentally strong is the key to balancing boxing with MMA.

Shields, a former Olympic gold medalist, meets Ema Kozin on Saturday, February 5. She will be defending her WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight titles.

The event takes place live on pay-per-view from the United Kingdom. Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Williams is the main event fight.

In 2021, Shields made her MMA debut, competing twice for the Professional Fighters League (PFL). She went 1-1 in the matches. 

“The mental part is the biggest thing for me. I definitely enjoy learning MMA, so when I’m back to boxing, I have to make that switch back to knowing I just have my left and my right hands,” Shields said. “My preference is still boxing training though. I’m still getting better and learning more, even with all I’ve accomplished in boxing so far.”
This will mark her professional her debut in the United Kingdom. Shields, though, won her gold during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“I feel like I’m returning to my old stomping grounds. I’m excited to perform and show everyone in the U.K. how I’ve gotten better as a fighter,” she said. “When they saw me in the Olympics, I was still a teenager.
“I don’t think they’ve seen my style of boxing over there yet. I’m bringing my ferociousness and my swag. I’m going to show them why I’m pound-for-pound. They should all come out and watch this fight, because I’m building all kinds of new strength and power.”

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