Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields spars in W MI

Shields headlining fight card in Detroit on June 16

claressa shields
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields spars at Pro Karate in metro Grand Rapids on May 18, 2017.


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Two-time Olympic gold medalist and Flint native Claressa Shields was in metro Grand Rapids on Thursday to spar with local boxers as she gets ready for a fight.

She practiced against Lorraine Aldrich and Luis Ramirez at Pro Karate. Ramirez was a 2016 Michigan Golden Gloves champion.

Shields is starting to train for the Detroit Brawl: The Path to Glory fight card that she will headline on June 16.

She said it’s hard to find sparring partners.

claressa shields
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields at Pro Karate in metro Grand Rapids on May 18, 2017.

“It’s just a problem, period, because some guys don’t want to get in there and spar because they don’t want to get beat up. I guess they feel embarrassed because they don’t want to get beat up by a girl, or even have a close sparring match with a girl,” Shields told 24 Hour News 8. “I try to tell guys, because they’re so used to taking it easy on girls, I’m like, ‘Look, dude. I am a two-time Olympic gold medalist. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

The only American boxer of either gender to win back-to-back Olympic golds in boxing, Shields took top honors in London in 2012 and in Rio in last summer.

She is 2-0 as a pro and holds the NABC Middleweight Championship belt.