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.
“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.