By Jerry Del Priore
The Women’s Sports Foundation named undefeated two-division world champion Claressa Shields as the 2019 Individual Sportswoman of the Year at their 40th Annual Salute to Women in Sports event Wednesday evening at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
The 24-year-old Shields is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and the current Undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World, as well as a tireless advocate and ambassador for her hometown of Flint, Michigan.
Shields was among a prestigious group of honorees that also included Team Sportswoman of the Year Award winner, two-time World Cup champion, USA Olympic gold medalist and FIFA 2019 Player of the Year, Megan Rapinoe, as well as Wilma Rudolph Courage Award winner, two-time Olympic medalist and soccer player with the most World Cup goals ever (17), male or female, Marta Vieira da Silva — a Swedish-Brazilian who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Brazil national team as a forward.
The praise and adulation came in from people close to Sheilds’ fight career.
“My sincerest congratulations to Claressa for collecting yet another well-deserved award,” Salita Promotions president Dmitriy Salita said in a press release. “Claressa’s story is a testament to hard work and dedication overcoming any obstacle. She is a superstar athlete and role model for women and girls worldwide. I am proud that she has allowed me to be part of her history-making career. This award is not only special for Claressa, but for the sport of boxing as a whole.”
Regarded as an excellent fighter by several experts in the boxing world, Shields’ current record stands at 9-0-2 (KOs).
Women’s tennis great Billie Jean King founded The Women’s Sports Foundation to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport, champion the causes of women’s sports and advocate and recognize programs and people that are working to provide women and girls equal access to all sports.