The “Detroit Brawl” at the Masonic Temple only delivered one brawl out of 10 boxing matches. That easily went to Claressa Shields, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Flint native.
Surrounded by the shabbiness of the Masonic Temple, the other nine fights – all males of course — were hum drum at best. But once Shields entered the ring, to a standing ovation and plenty of pomp and circumstance, the world of female boxing and started glowing.
Facing Sydney Blanc, a fighter who had a tough chin — but not much else, Shields, who is 22, drew more blood than all of the other fights combined. Although it seemed as if Blanc was going down in the first round, she held on for the next seven. Shields and Blanc boxed eight very physical rounds and Shields dominated every round with ease. Blanc, (4-2-1) and who is 33, agreed to fight Shields three days before the bout. She replaced Mery Rancier (7-8-3, five KOs) of the Dominican Republic, who had difficulty entering the United States, due to Visa issues.
The judges scored the fight (80-72) to no one’s surprise. When Shields was asked if she had a difficult time training to fight Blanc with such a short notice, she quipped, “I only train to fight against the best, and the best is myself.”
Shields has another fight scheduled for August 4; the opponent hasn’t been named yet.