Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin For Vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight World Title

In an attempt to become the fastest fighter – male or female – to win three world titles in three different divisions, Flint native Claressa Shields will fight professionally in her hometown for the first time.

The undisputed middleweight world champion faces former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO junior middleweight on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Dort Federal Event Center.

“It’s hard to even put into words how excited I am to be returning home as undisputed champion and fighting in front of all my fans in Flint,” said Shields, 24, in a news release. “And having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make August 17 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, two knockouts) is the first American boxer to win consecutive gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

“The world’s attention will be on women’s’ sports this summer with two of its’ biggest events in the FIFA women’s World Cup, which is just getting started, and another Shields’ blockbuster event happening in August,” said Dmitriy Salita, Shields’ promoter. “We’re continuing our goal of advancing the state of women’s sports to new heights and Claressa’s greatness helps make this happen.”

Habazin, 29, is the No. 1 fighter at 154 pounds. The Zagreb, Croatia, native is 20-3 in her professional career, and will be making her United States debut.

“It’s a dream come true and this is a huge chance for me to prove that I am one of boxing’s elite fighters,” Habazin said in the release. “I will not let this opportunity pass. I’m not just coming to the U.S. to fight, I’m coming for victory.”

The fight will be shown on Showtime, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m.

Article by Greg Levinsky / : Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky.

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