Claressa Shields: More exposure in MMA

In January female boxing G.O.A.T. candidate Claressa Shields, 25, said she wants her MMA debut in 2020, and that she wants to box Amanda Nunes. Nunes has never fought above 145, and Shields has never boxed professionally below 154, so finding the right weight is problematic, as would be Nunes’ contract, which prohibits competing in all combat sports outside of the UFC.

During a recent appearance on Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, Shields favorably compared the treatment of women athletes in the two sports.

“In MMA there’s just more exposure than woman’s boxing,” said Shields. “I hate to say it…from me just looking at social media, from me just seeing that they’re the main event on every other card and people are coming and filling up arenas for them. We don’t have that in woman’s boxing. I haven’t even been on pay-per-view yet and I’m a three-time division world champion. But Gervonta ‘Tank’ [Davis] [is about to be] on pay-per-view. It’s like, it’s just not equal.”

“Over in the MMA I love how it’s equal. You have some fights where the men are the main event. And you have the same amount when the women are. Women are on pay-per-view, and in boxing it’s just not the same way.”

“I’ve already let my team and Showtime know that I would fight on the undercard of Errol Spence, Deontay Wilder or Manny Pacquiao, any of those big fighters, the Twin Charlos [Jermell and Jermall]. I would fight on the undercard of those guys, but I’m not going to fight on the undercard of nobody who’s not a world champion, especially on pay-per-view.”

“I noticed that when I fought against Hannah Gabriel, I noticed that we didn’t get a poster for until we were like five weeks out from the fight, which, that’s a decent amount of time, but when you pay attention and see that they’re talking about another fight that’s two months or two months and-a-half out, that’s eight to ten weeks compared to five. But they wanted to get as many viewers for the guys they promoted [through] promos and commercials. … [We] get the same amount of exposure but with less time of promotion. So I spoke on that and I don’t think it was done on purpose, but I feel like they didn’t have any other women fighters speak on that.”

“But I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get more exposure through boxing and to welcome everybody to see that the game of women’s boxing has changed. We have some great fighters now. They were good back then, no disrespect, but we’ve got women who actually make boxing their career. I’ve been boxing since I was 11 years old, I’m 25, 14 years!”

h/t Sean Nam for Boxing Scene

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