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Home » Claressa Shields signs up for another history-making fight

Claressa Shields signs up for another history-making fight

On Saturday, July 27, professional boxing superstar and current Undisputed Middleweight World Champion Claressa “GWOAT” Shields of Flint, Mich., will be looking to add to her storied career yet again as she rises two weight classes to vie for a world title in a fourth division against WBC Women’s Heavyweight World Champion Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse of Quebec, Canada. The vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Championship will also be on the line on July 27, as both main event fighters aim to unify 175-pound titles in a very special edition of “Big Time Boxing USA” at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit that will air live on premier global sports platform DAZN.

Shields (14-0, 2 KOs), a living legend in her home state, and Lepage-Joanisse (7-1, 2 KOs) will headline a blockbuster night of boxing presented by Salita Promotions and 313 Presents at downtown Detroit’s world-class venue and home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons.

Shields is the reigning WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO Middleweight World Champion and is the only women’s boxer in history to hold Undisputed World titles in two divisions, having also won the undisputed female light middleweight world championship in March 2021. In addition, Shields holds the record for becoming a two- and three-division world champion in the fewest professional fights ever and owns the distinction of having held titles in three weight classes, as she also won the unified WBC and IBF female super middleweight titles in 2017.

In her record-breaking amateur boxing career, Shields won gold medals in the women’s middleweight division at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, making her the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals and the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. In her most recent boxing appearance, Shields defended her middleweight belts by scoring a unanimous 10-round decision over Maricela Cornejo in June 2023. The wildly successful event was the first boxing match ever held at Little Caesars Arena.

“The Queen of Boxing is back! I’m so excited to return to the ring, especially after my MMA victory in February.” said Shields. “I’m excited to bring another entertaining fight to Little Caesars Arena. Last time 12,000 fans filled the arena, and this time we’re going to lift the roof off the building! This is a significant and unique fight where I am moving up two weight classes against a very tough champion in my quest to become World Champion in my fourth weight division. It’s an exciting time for women’s sports, and I thank DAZN for providing a global platform for women’s boxing. I plan to do what I do best: bring that GWOAT energy and continue putting women’s boxing on the map.”

Lepage-Joanisse found boxing as a teenager in 2009 and quickly realized she had a talent for the sweet science. By 2013, Lepage-Joanisse was invited to join Quebec’s provincial amateur boxing team and later, the Canadian national team from 2014 to 2016. Lepage-Joanisse went on to win the Canadian women’s heavyweight title in 2014 and 2015 and finished her successful amateur career with a record of 17-4.

Lepage-Joanisse turned professional in March 2016 and, after just three fights, unsuccessfully challenged Mexico’s Alejandra Jimenez for her WBC World Championship in 2017. Jimenez would later test positive for the use of illegal substances. A heartbroken Lepage-Joanisse left the sport for nearly six years after suffering her only career loss but returned to fighting in March 2023, and won the WBC Heavyweight World Championship by defeating Argentina’s Abril Argentina Vidal by unanimous decision a year later.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s Claressa or someone else. My life is all about challenges,” said Lepage-Joanisse. “I’ve always faced them head-on, and I intend to keep it that way.”

“From the beginning of her career, Claressa has been on a quest to make her story a part of history,” said Dmitriy Salita. “This fight is one of Claressa’s hardest challenges, moving up two weight divisions to challenge the current Heavyweight World Champion. It’s ‘Claressa vs. Vanessa’ for the unified world title in Detroit, one of boxing’s historic homes. There is no better venue for this epic showdown than the beautiful, world-class Little Caesars Arena.”

“With every fight, Claressa Shields continues to raise the bar for women’s boxing,” said Mark Taffet, President of Mark Taffet Media. “With history and legacy on the line, Claressa embraces the challenge of moving up two weight classes in her quest to win a world title in her fourth weight division. It is a real privilege to be by her side on her game-changing journey.”

“As Detroit’s premier live entertainment company, 313 Presents is excited to bring boxing back to Little Caesars Arena in partnership with Salita Promotions,” said Howard Handler, President of 313 Presents. “Detroit’s boxing scene has a rich history that has produced and embraced numerous champions and last year’s event proved monumental as we look to build upon the amazing entertainment and alive moments we bring to our world-class venues. Claressa Shields proved she can pack a punch as well as a crowd. July 27 should deliver another action-packed night of boxing.”

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and the XFINITY Box Office at Little Caesars Arena.