It was announced on Tuesday that WBC and WBO 154-pound women's champion Claressa Shields would take on IBF titlist Marie-Eve Dicaire for the undisputed junior middleweight championship on Friday, March 5, at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Shields' hometown of Flint, Mich., in what will be an all-women's fight card.
The vacant WBA title is also at stake. A Shields win means she would be the first fighter in the four-belt era to become an undisputed champion in two separate weight classes. The fight had been scheduled for last May but was scrapped due to the coronavirus.
In April 2019, Shields (10-0, 2 KOs) defeated WBO middleweight champion Christina Hammer by unanimous decision to become only the second woman (after Cecilia Braekhus) to capture all four belts. In January 2020, the two-time Olympic gold medalist (2012, 2016) dropped down to 154 pounds and beat Ivana Habazin via unanimous decision to win the WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles and become the quickest person to claim three championships in three different weight classes. For the 24-year-old, it is her chance to make history one more time.
"I'm excited to be fighting another undefeated champion and to have the opportunity to make history by becoming the first fighter - male or female - to be undisputed champion in two weight divisions in the four-belt era," Shields said in a press release.
"Headlining my first pay-per-view event with this historic all-women's card, particularly at such an important time in the evolution of women's boxing and around the International Women's Day celebration, is so meaningful to me. We're going to put on one heck of a show for the world to see. It's one big step for boxing and one giant step for Womankind. I can't wait to fight Marie Eve Dicaire on March 5."
Dicaire (17-0) began her combat sports career in karate at six years old and became a black belt and a five-time world champion. The 34-year-old then turned her attention to the sweet science and reached the pinnacle when she defeated Chris Namus to win the IBF title.
She has defended the belt three times, but it doesn't get any bigger than facing quite arguably the best women's boxer in the world in a high stakes showdown.
"I'm happy to finally be able to get back in the ring and face Claressa Shields," Dicaire said. "It's been a year now that I've been preparing exclusively for this fight. I'm used to making history in women's boxing.
"I was the first woman to lead an event in a major amphitheater in Canada. On two occasions, my IBF defenses have been shown on pay-per-view in Canada. I have a lot of respect for everything Shields has accomplished; I am excited about this opportunity for my career and for the advancement of international women's boxing.
"Like Claressa, I am undefeated, and, just like her, I am coming to defend my world crown. We are going to have a lot of fun on March 5, measuring our skills without restraints and putting on a grandiose and memorable show. We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.
"I would like to thank all those who made this event possible, and I invite you to be there on March 5 in large numbers!"