FLINT, Mich. -- Claressa Shields wanted to make history on Friday night on multiple levels. The first part she handled before she even stepped in the ring, headlining an all-women's pay-per-view card.
The second part she took care of in the ring in a way similar to all of her fights before. Shields defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to become the first boxer in the four-belt era (since 2004), male or female, to be an undisputed champion in two divisions. Shields retained her WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles while claiming Dicaire's IBF crown and the vacant WBA world title.
"I did it," Shields said in the ring after the fight, which marked the first time in 20 years a women's boxing match was the main event of a pay-per-view.
All three judges scored the fight 100-90, a clean sweep for the fighter who calls herself the greatest of all time. Shields landed 116 of 409 punches, and Dicaire landed 31 of 263. Shields landed double-digit punches in seven of the 10 rounds.
Afterward, Shields seemed frustrated with how the fight unfolded. She had been training with the idea of a knockout on her mind in her first pay-per-view fight. Instead, she felt Dicaire's strategy was simply to survive.
"She never really wanted to win the fight," Shields said. "She just wanted to be able to say she went all 10, which I don't have that kind of mentality. To me, that's weak, and I'd rather go down on my shield any day and give it a good fight.
"But she wanted to stay away. She wanted to hold. She wanted to elbow and do all that crazy stuff. I felt like I was winning the fight, but I didn't get to display what I wanted to display."
Wearing the green WBC belt around her waist and a black robe honoring the late actor Chadwick Boseman over her shoulders, Shields explained one of the issues she sees with women's boxing and why she, perhaps, didn't get a knockout Friday: the two-minute rounds. She said the plan for her future in boxing is to go to three-minute rounds, which is the same as in men's boxing.
She said she believes female MMA fighters receive more respect than female boxers do because they fight five-minute rounds, just like male MMA fighters do. She said she believes fans respect that.
After the fight, Shields (11-0, 2 KO) was asked if she would drop to 147 pounds to fight against Katie Taylor. Shields laughed and complimented Taylor as a fighter.
"They got to pay me a lot of money to lose my butt to go down to 147," Shields said, adding that she'd do it for a million dollars. Shields then called out Savannah Marshall, the one fighter who beat her as an amateur, and said Marshall is "scared of me."
In boxing, Shields isn't sure what's next, but she will make her MMA debut in June with the Professional Fighters League against a yet-to-be-named opponent. During a postfight news conference, Shields and her manager, Mark Taffet, seemed to be throwing around ideas on the fly, including a potential move up to 175 pounds or a move to 147 pounds to fight Taylor.
Both of those, Shields said, would require a lot of money.
"I just want to fight against the best champions and make more history," Shields said. "I don't know what's next in boxing. I would love to fight a rematch with Hanna Gabriels, would love to fight against Savannah Marshall, would love to go to 147 and get a match with Katie Taylor or Jessica McCaskill.
"I don't know. It's a wide range of stuff that we can do. We're just trying to go where the best thing is at, the best fight."
Fighting in her hometown, Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was dominant throughout against Dicaire (17-1). When she entered the ring, most of the 300-plus fans in the Dort Financial Center stood with their camera phones out to register the event.
They stood for most of the bout, getting louder in the sixth and seventh rounds when Shields started to land more power punches. One of the punches staggered Dicaire early in the sixth, drawing cheers. After the fight, Shields said she was elbowed and head-butted a few times.
After the fight, Shields held all the belts in her arms and on her waist. She thanked the people in Flint and said that when she was a kid, "never in a million years" did she think she would be fighting a pay-per-view card in her hometown. Shields said she will take a week to celebrate her birthday and then start training in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for her MMA debut.