Boxing champion Claressa Shields has slammed tennis legend Serena Williams, revealing why it’s not always a good idea to meet your idols.
The 23-year-old WBA and IBF female middleweight and super middleweight world champion said Williams used to be her idol, until they met at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She told the Detroit Free Press she was upset after meeting her childhood hero.
“Well, one used to be Serena Williams,” Shields said. “She used to be. I was able to meet Serena at the 2016 Olympics. She was just not nice. For me to look up to her like I did when I was a kid and then meet her in person and see how she’s not fan-friendly, (that was upsetting).”
Shields won two gold medals at the Rio Olympics, the first US boxer to achieve the feat. She has since turned professional and is undefeated with the two unified world championships.
“She was kind of mean to a lot of people at the Olympics and just kind of made me not want to be like her,” Shields said. “Because I’m different. I’m a fan of her being a great athlete, just not a fan of her as a person, if that makes sense?”
Shields said her new role models are Floyd Mayweather and light heavyweight boxer Andre Ward.
It’s been a hard month for Williams, who has taken plenty of criticism — from plenty of fields, including the media, fellow tennis legends and even those from other sports — over her outburst in the Sept. 9 US Open final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
Williams was cited for a coaching violation, destroying a racket and verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos in her loss to Osaka and was fined $17,000 for the incident.
She also accused the umpire of sexism for the violations.
Shields will fight undefeated Christina Hammer for all four middleweight world titles on Nov. 17 in New Jersey, with the winner to be only the second-ever undisputed women’s boxing champion.
— with AP
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