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Claressa Shields beats Ivana Habazin to become quickest three-weight world champion

Claressa Shields beats Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City
Image: Claressa Shields dominated Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City

Claressa Shields became the fastest three-weight champion in boxing history with a straightforward points victory over Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City.

Shields was having only her 10th professional outing in the twice-delayed clash with Habazin and was barely troubled in continuing her perfect record by claiming the vacant WBC and WBO titles.

In doing so, the 24-year-old bettered the feat of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Kosei Tanaka, who both won third world titles at different weights in their 12th fight.

Olympic champion Shields was already a champion at super-middleweight and middleweight, but had no problem in dropping to 154lbs against her over-matched Croatian opponent, albeit one she was unable to stop before the judges' cards came into play.

They would score the bout 100-90, 99-89 and 100-89 in favour of Shields, who was going the distance for the sixth successive fight and is now likely to move back up to middleweight to defend her undisputed title.

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Shields' advantage in skill and speed were obvious from the first bell, dominating with her jab and forcing Habazin on to the defensive.

Habazin was forced to take a knee in the sixth after a series of big shots to the body and head, but that brief rest was just enough to get her to the bell.

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Bravely, the Croatian fighter was able to withstand almost constant pressure over the last three rounds as Shields went for the stoppage, but there was never going to be a moment's doubt over the scores when they were tallied.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 10: Elin Cederroos celebrates her unanimous decision win against Alicia Napoleon Espinosa on January 10, 2020 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images)
Image: Elin Cederroos could be a future opponent for Shields and she defended her super-middleweight belts earlier on the same card

"We spent so many months in camp for this fight," said Shields, whose potential future opponent Elin Cederroos watched from ringside after a successful earlier super-middleweight title defence against Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa.

"It wasn't what I wanted, but I'm happy with the improvement. This feels great - I did it in 10 fights. Now I'm number one, the fastest boxer in history to become a three-division world champion.

"I am the greatest woman of all time because she couldn't do nothing with me. Zero.

"I just want to be a better fighter, that's all. I want to grow women's boxing. I want us to have equal pay, equal opportunity. I would love to share a card with Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence. I want to be in with the likes of those guys."

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