Claressa Shields is making the move to MMA where the opportunities between men and women are equal, she hopes to fight for the same in boxing.
Multiple time world boxing champion Claressa Shields is making a new path in her fighting life, she is making the switch to MMA. Shields made news when she announced that she will be signing with Professional Fighters League (PFL) and going pro in MMA. Having such an impressive resume in boxing there were many interested parties when making the decision to sign with an MMA organization. Shields spoke to FanSided’s Amy Kaplan about this and more.
“Well, I’ve had a lot of talks with MMA leagues, or companies,” Shields explained. “And with Dana, I think it was more like a one-fight deal thing. That’s not really too lucrative for me. I knew I would be in MMA long term because I just knew that was something I always kind of thought of, so that was not what I was interested in.”
She went on to explain that the PFL season and the opportunity to win a million dollars at the end fit with her goals and what she wants out of her MMA career. She also mentioned that she will continue to box at the same time as fight in MMA.
“With the PFL, I liked how it was equal,” Shields said. ” I liked how you can control your own destiny. I have a chance to fight in the PFL season 2022, 2023, and the more I win and the more I get knockouts the higher I go and I have a chance to be in the finals and fight for the million dollars. The men have that same opportunity, we fight the same amount of times so that is why there is so much more respect in MMA for the women than it is in boxing. They give you all these reasons why women can’t fight three minutes for twelve rounds, it’s all bullcrap because we can.”
Shields wants to show that women and men in the same sport should be treated equally.
“All I can do is keep building my brand and get the word out to whoever is listening that boxing is sexist,” Shields said. “That they need to be held accountable for counting us out. For making us promises and not keeping their word. And also not giving us the equal opportunity they give the men.”
Shields has some opinions on the Mayweather-Paul exhibition bout
Another trend in boxing lately has been for making fights that include people who could be described as a celebrity and putting on boxing matches with either other celebrities or boxers. One recent example of this is the recently announced exhibition bout between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul. Shields had some thoughts on this.
“It just shows that boxing is an entertainment business and they are using it like that,” Shields said. “Some networks and people are taking advantage of that. That’s not a bad thing, that is what the networks are supposed to do. They are looking at it more as entertainment and not as a sport. You have die-hard boxing fans who want to see real fights. I know that Floyd is going to beat up Logan Paul pretty bad. just like I would beat up Jake Paul pretty bad and I think that is a fight that Triller needs to make. Me versus Jake Paul, make it the first woman versus man fight, exhibition fight. Like, that needs to happen because what he did to Nate Robinson wasn’t right.”
Whether or not this idea comes through, Shields is one of the best to have ever stepped into the ring and is now looking to be one of the best in the cage. She has enlisted the help of former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and it seems training is going well.