This weekend, boxing world champion Claressa Shields (9-0) returns to action in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, where she fill face former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO junior middleweight world title.
The fight has the undisputed middleweight world champion looking to make history once again by becoming the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion. In just nine fights in her professional career, Shields already is a unified world champion at middleweight and super middleweight.
As the most decorated Olympian in U.S. history with two gold medals at back to back Olympics (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Shields has labeled herself the “GWOAT”, an acronym for the “Greatest Woman Of All Time.”
It’s a title that has ruffled the feathers of veteran female fighter Christy “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” Martin. Most notably is Laila Ali’s voice, which has been absent from Shields’ career as a mentor or even vocal supporter.
The title has left Shields on an island all of her own making, a time old testament to solitude of success. However, as Shields has been women’s boxing’s most visible ambassador, there has been another who might also lay claim to the GWOAT title.
Brooklyn We Go Hard
Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (39-1-1) is one half of the fighting Serrano sisters. Immigrating from Puerto Rico to Bushwick, Brooklyn, Serrano took to boxing reluctantly.
However, once she started she was a natural. To date she is the only woman, and Puerto Rican, to win world titles in more than four weight classes. She also holds the Guinness Word Record for the most boxing world championships won in different weight classes by a woman: 9 world titles across seven weight classes.
Last month, on September 13th, she made history defeating New York City veteran, Heather “The Heat” Hardy in Madison Square Garden. She captured the WBO, vacant WBAN and interim WBC featherweight titles in dominating fashion, crowning her the official Queen of NYC boxing.
Serrano has also entered the world of mixed martial arts competition and holds a current record of 2-0 fighting under the Combate Americas banner. In addition, she’s also been training to be a professional wrestler on the side.
Serrano has never disputed Shields’ claim of being the GWOAT, and since she has never fought higher than light welterweight, she will probably never fight Claressa Shields.
But when you compare ring resumes, Serrano can make an argument for women’s combat sports GWOAT. As a 10 year boxing veteran, she hasn’t been afraid to jump into other genres and has maintained a relatively pristine record throughout.
While Claressa Shields is amateur boxing’s greatest product and the torch bearer (pun intended) for women’s boxing, Serrano is combat sports’ greatest current athlete. After defeating fellow fearless multi-combat sport veteran, Heather Hardy, she cemented her claim to that throne.
This Saturday, Shields fights under the tagline of HOMECOMING FOR HERSTORY. Let’s just make sure there is room for all of the exceptional stories in the women’s ranks when the receipts are read.