- Outpointed Sugar Ray Leonard to win the 1973 National AAU Light Welterweight Championship.
- Lost to Sugar Ray Leonard by a ten-round unanimous decision in 1978.
- Lost to Pipino Cuevas by a fifteen-round unanimous decision for the WBA Welterweight Championship in 1979. Shields lost by one point on two scorecards. He was the only fighter to go the distance with Cuevas in eleven successful title defenses.
- Stopped on a cut in thirteen rounds by Thomas Hearns for the WBA Welterweight Championship in 1981.
- Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.