In 2012, as a high school junior from Flint, Michigan, Claressa Shields qualified for the Olympics and won a gold medal in boxing. “T-Rex” won another in 2016, becoming the first US boxer to win gold at consecutive Olympic Games. As a pro, she’s undefeated and widely regarded as the best female pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Seeking a new challenge, she’s signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League and is now training for her MMA debut. On June 3, ESPN+ begins streaming a four-part series about her bid to become an MMA fighter, with a live broadcast of her bout on June 10.
Her compelling story has also been the subject of a documentary, T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold, and is being developed into a motion picture written by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins and directed by Oscar nominee Rachel Morrison, the cinematographer for Black Panther.
In this episode of Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast, she talks to Rich and Gianni about her tough upbringing in Flint Michigan, her father’s role in introducing her to boxing, her admiration for Serena Williams, and the challenges of training in multiple disciplines to prepare for her first MMA fight.