Claressa Shields becomes first female to claim best boxer award at the ESPYS 2023

Boxing superstar Claressa “G.W.O.A.T.” Shields continued to make history this week, as the world’s top pound-for-pound women’s boxer was awarded the 2023 ESPY Award for “Best Boxer” prior to Wednesday’s award ceremony. Shields became the first ever female boxer to win the award that has been given out since 1993.

“First I want to thank God. I am truly humbled to become the first woman ever to win the 'Best Boxer' of the year award for the ESPYS,” said Shields. “This award may have my name on it but it is for every female boxer who has stepped into the ring and hopefully will inspire generations of young women in the future to pursue their dreams with no boundaries. I want to thank ESPN and all my fans who voted for me all over the world! To win this award against the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney is an incredible honor. What a feeling to be the GWOAT amongst men!”

Shields beat out men’s boxing stars Davis, Haney and Stevenson to win the fan voting for the award. The Flint, Michigan-native was already one of just three women since 2008 to be recognized in the category, having earned a nomination for the 2021 ESPYS, and is the only woman to receive multiple nominations in that time span.

Shields’ recent run has included her two victories in 2022, capped by an action-packed victory last October over Savannah Marshall that saw Shields become the undisputed middleweight world champion for the second time. Already boxing’s only champion to become undisputed in two divisions, Shields defended her four belts successfully this June in front of a huge crowd at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit as she shut out Maricela Cornejo on her way to a unanimous decision.

“This is an incredible honor for a generational great, the ‘G.W.O.A.T.’ Claressa Shields,” said Dmitriy Salita, Shields’ promoter and President of Salita Promotions. “It is yet another first for women’s boxing and most importantly more fuel for women’s empowerment all over the world. Claressa Shields is building the bridge to equality with the bricks of her unmatched, unparalleled accomplishments inside and outside of the ring.”

Mark Taffet, Shields’s manager and President of Mark Taffet Media, added: “Claressa continues to shatter every glass ceiling and accomplish what, prior to her, was considered unachievable. The only two-time US Olympic boxing gold medal winner, fastest man or woman to win world championships in three weight divisions, only man or woman to hold undisputed world titles in two weight divisions simultaneously, and only woman in the past twenty five years to win Sportswoman Of The Year twice is now the first woman to win the Best Boxer ESPY award!”