Claressa Shields Dominates, Beats Marie-Eve Dicaire Via Unanimous Decision

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2021

Claressa Shields poses for photographs after defeating Ivana Habazin in their 154-pound title boxing bout in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Claressa Shields completed her second conquest of a women's boxing division Friday night, defeating Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to become the undisputed champion at junior middleweight.

The judges scored it 100-90, 100-90, 100-90, per the FITE TV pay-per-view broadcast.

It was a typically dominant display from the 25-year-old Shields (11-0, 2 KOs), who won the WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF world titles while headlining an all-female boxing card at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in her hometown of Flint, Michigan. Shields had previously unified the belts at middleweight when she beat Christina Hammer in a similarly lopsided bout in April 2019. This makes Shields the first boxer, male or female, to unify two divisions in the four-belt era. 

Despite being in complete control from the first second to the last, Shields still wanted more from the historic win. "I'm happy, but I still wanted the KO. I just didn't have the time," she said on the broadcast. 

Shields will hope she doesn't have to wait too long to get another shot at a knockout. The fight with Dicaire was supposed to happen last year, but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. She and her team then struggled to get a network to pick up the fight, before eventually deciding to put together their own event on pay-per-view.

The long, tough journey to getting the fight made didn't seem to have any effect on Shields in the ring. Her skills were as sharp as ever, allowing her to take control early in the first round, with a powerful left hook quickly getting Dicaire's (17-1, 0 KOs) attention. 

Shields looked comfortable and balanced, using deft footwork to get within range of Dicaire and stick her with a power shot. Darting jabs to the body paid dividends for Shields, who did well to make Dicaire miss as she stepped back to safety.

Boxing journalist Dan Rafael loved what he was seeing from T-Rex: 

Dan Rafael @DanRafael1

Shields has won every second of the fight so far through four rounds. She's stalking and landing right hands and I dont think she's been hit solidly once yet. 4-0. #boxing #ShieldsDicaire

Dicaire, fighting out of a southpaw stance, couldn't find a way to establish her own offense for several rounds. She had to settle for returning fire when Shields decided to unleash a flurry of punches. On just about every occasion, Shields won those exchanges, even if her technique did get a little wild at times, as journalist David Greisman noted: 

David Greisman @fightingwords2

As Shields continues to improve -- for all of her accomplishments, she's still relatively young -- would like to see fewer of those wild combos that are flurrying for the sake of flurrying.

Shields grew bolder as the fight went on, unleashing some hooks that traced a wide orbit in the hopes of landing a knockout blow. Dicaire, jittery and bouncing throughout the match, managed to avoid most of those wilder shots, but she still absorbed a ton of punishment when Shields managed to trap her on the ropes. 

Even though Dicaire didn't show any outward signs of impairment, boxing promoter Lou DiBella felt the final rounds were unnecessary: 

Lou DiBella @loudibella

Decaire’s corner could stop this. What’s the point of more of the same?

The last rounds did play out in a similar fashion to those that preceded them, as Shields went for the knockout without putting herself in any real danger. 

With two divisions now in her pocket, Shields can go in any direction at this point. She's set to debut in MMA later this year; her personality and talent could make her a star in that sport. Shields was asked about fighting Katie Taylor at 147 pounds, but said it would take a lot of money to convince her to drop the weight to take on The Ring's No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxer.