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Existing titleholder in the middleweight division of professional boxing, Claressa Shields, who recently won again at the junior middleweight division thus becoming the first woman fighter to win an undisputed championship in two weight classes, made use of the occasion to raise awareness about plant-based diets.
On March 5 2021, American professional boxer Claressa Shields entered the ring in her hometown Flint Michigan and dedicated her fight to raising awareness about the benefits of plant-based diets as well as equality for all women. The fight was also sponsored by Vejii, a vegan online market where consumers can purchase cruelty-free and plant-based foods, in a big to help increase the profile of plant protein diets.
By beating contender Marie-Eve Dicaire and winning the title of the World Champion, Junior Middleweight Division, Shields now holds the enviable GWOAT title, or ‘Greatest Woman of All Time’.
According to DAZN News, Shields told reporters after the fight: “It just doesn’t feel real to say undisputed twice. It’s kind of weird. It’s like some epic s—t. Also, I was trying to get the knockout. That’s what I really wanted. I’m happy, but I still wanted the KO. I just didn’t have enough time.”
The boxer emerged victorious from a young age- she won her first Olympic gold medal back when she was only 17 years old. After defending her middleweight gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, she became a professional boxer, and has since has won nine world championship belts and two Olympic gold medals, making her the only boxer to ever win back-to-back.
I have been very vocal about (women’s sports) but after being vocal now you have to take action. And right here is taking action. Not being given chances by networks that don’t want to pay us what we want or need to be paid. This is where it all starts. And to me, this is taking a stand for equal pay and equal fight timeClaressa Shields, undisputed champion in two weight classes of U.S. professional boxing
With this win and her many achievements that she has, the GWOAT champion has been an important voice in raising awareness about the power of plant-based eating regimes, proving to the world that being on an animal-free diet that includes vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and seeds, doesn’t make your performance any less than other athletes who aren’t on these diets, rather it helps you to excel in your sport.
Apart from supporting plant-based diets, Shields also raises her voice for qual pay and gender equality in the sport of boxing as well as outside it.
In an interview with Fox Business, Shields said: “I have been very vocal about (women’s sports) but after being vocal now you have to take action. And right here is taking action. Not being given chances by networks that don’t want to pay us what we want or need to be paid. This is where it all starts. And to me, this is taking a stand for equal pay and equal fight time.”
Apart from boxing, Shields also competes in mixed martial arts.
Several athletes have joined Shields in the adoption of plant-based diets and have shown the world its tremendous benefits like Novak Djokovic winning his ninth grand slam at the Australian Open, World Class Champion Surfer Tia Blanco, Chris Paul, Lewis Hamilton, and many more.
In a recent survey, data found that over a third of Brits are avoiding animal products due to documentaries like The Game Changers, famously backed by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, that shows professional athletes praising vegan diets and holds their diets responsible for their wins across their various sports, including receiving titles like ‘Strongest Man in the World.”
The documentary highlighted that a switch to a plant-based diet leads to quicker recovery times, reduced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), faster injury healing, less joint pain, and increased career longevity as plants contain anti-inflammatory compounds and powerful antioxidants.
Recently, football team Real Madrid joined forces with plant-based meat brand, Meatless Farm, to reduce meat consumption and encourage sustainable eating habits among players’ as well as show the world that plant-based foods can be a part of a ‘balanced diet’, and only helps in the athletes’ performance.
To learn about powerful women that are forging the future of food and leading the way ahead in alternative protein, check out this power list here.
Lead image courtesy of Claressa Shields Facebook Page.