Claressa Shields Believes Braekhus is Running Scared!
On January 10, Claressa Shields (10-0, 2KO) made history yet again when she rather easily defeated Ivana Habazin. With the victory, Shields claimed world titles in a third division and was the quickest fighter, male or female, to so do.
However, when the undisputed middleweight champion initially dropped down to super welterweight, it was done with an ulterior motive in mind.
Down at welterweight, “First Lady” Cecilia Braekhus (36-0, 9 KO’s) has ruled the 147 landscape for years upon years. Not only is she the undisputed champion there, she represents one of the most attractive opponents that T-Rex could pen a fight with.
Well before Shields ever locked horns with Habazin, she made her desire to fight Braekhus known. In response, the First Lady did not rule the fight out.
Although, she did raise concerns about the sizable gap in weight. In an effort to quell her misgivings about their weight disparity, Shields dropped down to 154 to illustrate that a fight was still a realistic possibility.
MONKEY WRENCH IN THE MACHINE
Now that the fight with Habazin is all said and done, Shields is painfully aware of the fact that Braekhus has become suspiciously quiet about the theoretical match-up. While she has discontinued her talks about facing T-Rex, the First Lady has openly pushed for a bout with WBO super lightweight champion Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KO’s).
She even made a move to sign with Matchroom and DAZN to help put herself into position for that fight.
As she explained in an interview on Max on Boxing, Shields is interpreting this shift in talking points as a sign of fear.
“The thing with Cecilia is if she want to fight we can fight. We got a million reasons to make the fight happen. Braekhus told me when I was at 168 that my weight was a problem.
“Okay, I won titles at 168, I became undisputed at 160, now I’m at 154. Now you don’t hear about her no more. She is not calling me out. So my thing is, look they can think what they want to think.
“Boxers don’t have skills like me, I will school her. I will knock her out! That’s why she is going down to 140 to fight against Katie Taylor.
“Like first of all you’re, an undisputed champion at 147 for years. What reason do you have to go down to 140? It’d be an easier fight. It’d be undisputed versus undisputed. Her against Katie Taylor and in my opinion Katie Taylor is going to beat her but she will not knock Cecilia Braekhus out and Cecilia can live with that.
“Cecilia will not be able to live with me coming down three weight classes when I’m supposed to be drained and tired, but fighting way better than her, and I’m from the new era. She wouldn’t be able to deal with that.
“But I am open to a fight with her. Her and her team knows that and we have a million reasons to make the fight happen and the reason that it’s not happening is because Cecilia doesn’t want to fight.”
It is true that the interest that Braekhus was verbalizing in fighting Shields has gone silent. Yet, it is also true that Taylor is herself a tremendously popular fighter.
She also commands an impressive fan base and is a rapidly growing star in her own right.
Given these facts, like Shields, Taylor could herself represent a tremendous pay day for Braekhus. Taking all this in, and following Shields’ line of thinking that Taylor is the easier fight, why wouldn’t the First Lady tangle with Katie Taylor first?
It’d theoretically be comparable money for supposedly less risk. Obviously, this would not please Shields. However, as the fighters of this generation are addicted to saying: “boxing is a business!”
It will be extremely interesting to see both how Braekhus responds to these new allegations, as well as who she selects as her next dance partner.
Make sure to stay tuned to 3kingsboxing to see what happens next!
By: Bakari Simpson