The WBO has recognized undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields as its "Super Champion."
The organization made it official in a lengthy letter, explaining what is a "Super Champion" and why Shields was given the honor only a handful of boxers have been given. Among the number of things Shields can do as the WBO Super Champion is the ability to request being recognized as the mandatory challenger for the next weight up (super middleweight) or weight down (junior middleweight).
Normally, one of the requirements needed to become the WBO Super Champion is to make at least 10 defenses of the WBO title, something Shields has yet to do. However, Shields can still be given the recognition based on her career accomplishments and the level of competition she has faced as a pro.
Shields became the undisputed middleweight champion back in April when she defeated Christina Hammer to unify the WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF middleweight titles, becoming the second woman in history to do so. Shields previously held the unified IBF and WBA super middleweight titles.
This isn't the first time a boxer had been named WBO Super Champion as former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk was given the same honor. Usyk would then go on to use his status as Super Champion to automatically become the mandatory challenger to the WBO heavyweight title currently being held by Andy Ruiz Jr.
The Flint, Michigan native has also won two Olympic gold medals in boxing and is now looking to fight for a world title in a third weight class. Shields was supposed to face Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title on August 17 and the bout was going to be televised on Showtime. Less than two weeks after the fight was announced, however, Shields suffered a minor injury during training, forcing the fight to be postponed. There is still no new date for the fight.