Claressa Shields identifies Katie Taylor as main pound-for-pound rival


A sizable size difference means they will never meet but WBA and IBF middleweight champion Claressa Shields [6(2)-0] admits she is fighting with Katie Taylor for status as the greatest female fighter on the planet.

Having set the highest of bars in a trail blazing amateur career, Bray’s Taylor [11(5)-0] is looking to make history and leave a similar mark in the pro ranks.

The Matchroom fighter has topped a bill and unified the IBF and WBA lightweight title within 9 fights and has undisputed and multi-weight world champion ambitions as a well as a desire to be in some high profile clashes.

As an undisputed welterweight champion, most feel Cecilia Braekhus is the pound-for-pound #1 but Taylor is certainly taking the game by storm and increasing the profile of female boxing.

Sheilds, who like Taylor has won Olympic Gold – twice, in fact – has been as impressive since turning over. Like Taylor, she brought women’s boxing to the top of a TV bill and has managed to unify titles at both middle and supper middleweight.

The pair share a mutual respect and Sheilds believes they are top of the pound-for-pound female rankings.

“Katie Taylor is a great fighter, she’s really good,” Shields told Sky Sports ahead of her title defence versus Hannah Rankin on the Matchroom DAZN show in Kansas this Saturday..

“She’s fast, she’s strong, she’s dominating all her fights. People may like her style better, people might like my style better, but we’re definitely one and two.”

“I think we have a different boxing style. We’re similar in some ways, but we have different styles. I think I’m more aggressive than she is, but she’s still aggressive and dominates fights, just as I do,” added the outspoken 23-year-old before clarifying that a fight between the pair will never happen.

“I think that would be a dream match-up, but too bad we’re too far apart in weight,” explained Shields.

“The lowest I’ll go is 154lbs, and I think the highest she’ll ever go is probably 140lbs.”

“I don’t think the fight will ever be made, but me and her are definitely neck and neck as far as people may like her style better, people might like my style better, but we’re definitely one and two.”

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