Every time 2012 United States Olympic boxer Claressa Shields steps into the ring, she has her grandmother in her heart--and on her feet.
The 17-year-old middleweight and Flint native said she wears Betty Boop socks to pay homage to her grandmother, who died in December of 2010.
"I found these socks and I had to grab them," Shields said. "Ever since then, I wear them when i fight. plus they bring out my character because I'm young and I'm playful."
Shields said she focuses by reading and listening to music.
"I don't even know what she means by 'Bees in the Trap' but I like it," she said of her favorite song right now, by Nicki Minaj. "It's real catchy."
One thing Shields says she can't have is a friendship with her opponent--at least before the match.
"I can't get in the ring and say, 'Oh, she's so nice. She's my friend.' I can't get into the ring like that," she said. "I gotta have something against the girl."
While she carries a temporary vendetta in the ring, one thing she never carries is doubt.
"I'm not worried about what other male or female Olympic boxer can do," Shields said.
Shields doesn't even worry about Savannah Marshall, the English boxer who handed the Flint Northwestern senior her first amateur loss in May, 2012.
Instead, Shields said the loss in the World Championships in China was one of the best things to happen to her career.
"I think it was God talking to me," she said. "He said 'One loss wouldn't kill me,' and it didn't. It makes me train harder, makes me focus more and be a lot more humble."
With that humility, focus and her Betty Boop socks, Shields is ready to bring the gold medal back home to Flint.
The women's middleweight tournament at the London Olympics begin on Sunday, August 5. However, Shields received a bye so her first fight will take place at 3:45 pm (10:45 ET) on Monday, August 6.
You can watch the fight streaming live on nbcolympics.com.