Claressa Shields ready to put the show into Showtime’s history-making headliner
By: Bob Velin | USA TODAY March 9, 2017 7:41 pm
After becoming the first boxer in U.S. Olympic history — male or female — to win two gold medals, Claressa Shields was expected to rise rapidly through the professional ranks.
But headlining a fight card on a premium network in her second pro fight? Impossible. No female fighter had ever topped the bill on a premium network, let alone with one pro fight on her résumé.
Yet Shields has been doing the impossible for years. Like winning Olympic boxing gold at 17. Sure, it happens in swimming, and gymnastics, maybe tennis. But not in boxing. Shields was a high school junior when she took home the middleweight title in London in 2012, the first year women could box in the Olympics.
Friday night at MGM Grand in Detroit, just down the road from her hometown of Flint, Mich., family members, friends and her growing legion of fans will gather to watch Shields, 21, make history again when she headlines Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation (10 p.m. ET) in a six-round middleweight bout against older, more experienced Szilvia Szabados of Hungary.
Shields couldn’t contain her excitement as she talked by phone on Wednesday. “Now that we’re two days out from the fight, everybody is calling, texting, and just to know that all my family is going to be there — my mom, my dad, my sister, my cousins — it’s a really great feeling,” Shields said. “I predicted this would happen one day; I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. And I’ve already sold out the MGM Grand, so it shows that women can sell tickets.”
Having boxed in two Olympics and two world championships, Shields is used to pressure. But fighting in Kazakhstan or China is not like fighting in the Motor City in front of family and a full house. She remains unfazed.
“Pressure will make you underperform. I have no pressure,” said Shields, who won her professional debut vs. former USA Boxing teammate Franchon Crews in November. “I know what I’m capable of. I know how I box. I know that if I have my mind and everything together, and I’ve had a really good training camp, I’ll perform probably better than I expect to. I know I’m going to look good and do really well. I’m not under any pressure.”
Szabados (15-8, six KOs) has about as much confidence as one can muster against the talented and power-punching Shields.
“I’m ready to fight. I’ve been waiting a long time for this fight,” Szabados, 26, said during the final news conference to promote the bout. “This is a huge opportunity for me, and I plan to take advantage of it.”
But the Flint fighter nicknamed “T-Rex” has plenty of reasons not to let that happen, not the least of which is that this fight is for the NABF title, one that Shields’ idol, Muhammad Ali, won on his way to the top 50 years ago.
And this: “I’m not going to let her beat me in front of my family,” Shields said. “I’m not going to let her beat me in front of my nephews, cousins and my mom and dad. I just don’t roll like that.
“If she doesn’t have the talent and skill to go six rounds with me, she will not go six rounds. So, I hope she had a very good training camp. I know I did.”
“This is the first time that a woman has been the main event on Showtime, and I’m not coming to make women look bad.”
Shields prefers not to dwell on the past, including those coveted gold medals, instead focusing on what will be. She has a simple goal that those who know her best have no doubt she’ll accomplish.
“I know about Laila Ali, and Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, and I don’t box like any of them. I have my own unique style. I’ve never seen a female fighter like myself. I want to carry the sport,” she said.
“I want my legacy to be that I’m the best female fighter to ever put on gloves.”
So far, so good.
Claressa Shields vs. Szilvia Szabados Live Stream: How to Watch Fight Online
Published 12:00 pm EST, March 10, 2017 Updated 12:01 pm EST, March 10, 2017 Comments closed By Tim Keeney
Looking to watch a live stream of the Claressa Shields vs. Szilvia Szabados fight on Friday night? There are a couple different ways to do so, whether or not you have a cable subscription.
The card, which starts at 10 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on Showtime. If you can’t get to a TV, here’s a full rundown of your streaming options:
Shields vs. Szabados Live Stream
Users can watch a live stream of the Showtime broadcast on their desktop via Showtime Anytime.
If you have a cable subscription that includes Showtime, you can log in to your cable provide with a username and password to access the stream.
If you don’t have a cable subscription, you can sign up for Showtime for a monthly cost the following ways:
Amazon (Free 7-day trial)
Hulu (Free 30-day trial)
PlayStation Vue (Free 30-day trial)
Roku (Free 7-day trial)
Once signed up, you can watch a live stream of Showtime on your computer right here. Instead of signing in with a cable provider, you will sign in with the information for the account you used to add Showtime (Amazon, Hulu, etc.).
Mobile & Other Streaming Devices
If you have a Showtime subscription (read above how to start one if you don’t have cable), you can watch a live stream via the Showtime app, which can be downloaded for free in the following locations:
App Store (or Apple TV)
Amazon App Store (or Amazon Fire TV)
Playstation 4 (through Playstation Vue app)
You can click here for more information