Niyo: Claressa Shields champions career in home corner

Niyo: Claressa Shields champions career in home corner

Shields is now 5-0, 2 KOs while Nelson tastes defeat for the first time at 17-1-3, 2 KOs.

In the first, both ladies eyed each other with some degree of respect, not looking to make a fight-ending mistake. "She definitely did what I thought she was going to do, be aggressive, try to pin me against the ropes".

But there's a reason she's here at all, lacing up her gloves in the cramped basement gym at Berston Field House, a place where the 22-year-old Flint native first stepped into the ring more than a decade ago.

Claressa Shields' fifth fight was the longest of her brief professional career. "But for Claressa to be as successful as she is and come back and train there, I feel like that's a really powerful statement". She did her game plan but I just did more. So I stopped trying to go in because I didn't want to get head-butted and get cut. In the ring, though, there's another reminder for Shields, and before she begins her workout, she's busy cheering on - and coaching - a 12-year-old girl named Kristiya Smith, who is pummeling a young boy in a sparring session, much like she used to do. A lot of times, when I did see shots open and I went for them, I got head-butted.

After beating Nelson, Shields - who began training November 10 - told Showtime she was going to celebrate by eating the meals she had to skip at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

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Shields tried her best to get a knockout in the 10th round, but wasn't able to hurt Nelson with any of her punches.

Crutchfield said he thought Nelson was ready to quit but instead the challenger responded with perhaps her best round of the fight before getting staggered by Shields just before the bell. Shields looked to take control in the second, landing lead rights to start two and three punch combos.

Shields is expected to move down from 168 pounds to 160 for her next fight, probably sometime in April.

"As far as fighting me, I think she's pretty scared, to be honest", Shields said. She was supposed to have fought today, on the undercard. "I can guarantee you this: She won't retire undefeated".

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