New ESPN+ Series Claressa Shields Takes Us Behind the Scenes With One of the World's Greatest Two-Sport Athletes

Illustration for article titled New ESPN+ Series Claressa Shields Takes Us Behind the Scenes With One of the World's Greatest Two-Sport Athletes
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After conquering boxing and now making her mark on mixed martial arts, professional ass-beater Claressa Shields is on a mission to become the greatest two-sport athlete of all time. And thanks to ESPN+, we’ll be joining her on her journey.

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Claressa Shields, a new four-part, all-access series, will be providing fans with a behind-the-scenes look into the dedication, ambition, and sacrifice that it takes to dominate one sport—because last I checked, “The G.W.O.A.T.” just became boxing’s first-ever, two-division champ—while preparing for her heavily anticipated debut in another as a mixed martial artist.

From a press release provided by ESPN:

From Shields’ humble beginnings as a young girl who discovered boxing in a tough Flint, Michigan neighborhood, to winning Olympic Gold in London and Rio, to establishing herself as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxing champion, Claressa Shields tells her unique and inspiring story as she continues to rise.

“Claressa has accomplished so much as an athlete already and her life story is both authentic and compelling,” Brian Lockhart, senior vice president of original content and ESPN Films, said in a statement provided to The Root. “We know she’s just getting started, and this new series is a chance for all of us to join Claressa on her journey and to see up close what drives the ambition of a world champion who is reaching for all-time greatness.”

In March, the 26-year-old beat the brakes off of previously undefeated IBF Super Welterweight Champion Marie-Eve Dicaire in a bout that can best be described as me versus a Louisiana crawfish boil. With her victory, Shields became the first boxer in the four-belt era to be an undisputed champ in two divisions—and yup, that includes men, too.

But she’s not just fighting against opponents in the ring, she keeps that same energy when it comes to her commitment to gender equality.

“I’m a Black, African-American woman from Flint, Mich.,” she told The Root in March. “People have painted my story as ‘the angry Black woman.’ I’m upset about this, or I’m upset about that, or I’m angry. And it’s like, no. Definitely not. I love boxing, I’m passionate about it. I’m highly accomplished. And I just want equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity for women fighters.”

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She’ll be continuing that quest in the Professional Fighter’s League, where she’s scheduled to take on Brittney Elkin on June 10. But before Elkin gets her face pounded in, make sure you check out the new series Claressa Shields on ESPN+ when it premieres on Thursday, June 3.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

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