Claressa Shields Breaks Silence on Getting Knocked Down by Male Pro Boxer While Sparring in a Resurfaced Clip: “I Embarrassed Him Earlier That Week”

Published 12/11/2023, 8:18 AM EST

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Claressa Shields takes immense pride in what she has achieved thus far in boxing. Her accomplishments are such that even men may find them hard to match. The two-time Olympic gold medalist, who turned to professional boxing seven years ago, has yet to see the face of defeat. Of course, there was the lone aberration of a knockdown she suffered at the hands of Hanna Gabriels in 2018.

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However, she still won the match and became a champion. But could the same be said about the sparring sessions? In the latest break, an old video of Claressa Shields at the receiving end while sparring has been garnering views that are increasing every hour. But the undisputed champion seemed unfazed and launched a series of replies. Her revelations are sure to throw many into surprise.

Claressa Shields: A lousy flashback from the past

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Early today, @dantheboxingman shared a short clip that showed Claressa Shields knocked down by Riga-born but United-States-settled lightweight Arturs Ahmetovs. The post read, “Video of Arturs Ahmetovs knocking down Claressa Shields in sparring.” Soon, a barrage of replies flowed in from ‘GWOAT’.

The clip was shared through an Instagram post as well.

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At 7:04 AM, she mentioned how, a week before the incident in 2018, she forced Ahmetovs to eat the humble pie, saying, “I embarrassed him earlier that week.” Hence, in order to get back at her, in cahoots with his trainer, the boxer took the padding out of his gloves as they went into sparring. So she seemed certain that had she divulged the details at the time, it might have put her championship campaign into trouble.

Two minutes later, she added that she had never been knocked out in seventeen years. However, she went down to the canvas twice. But it hardly embarrassed her. She added, “But for a male fighter to literally take the padding out his gloves, he’s a punk. Him and coach Derrick Santos are bad for the sport!

In the meantime, a user, finding the news distasteful, responded to her initial tweet. They wondered how a man could pull off such a thing at such an age. Shields replied, “5 years ago. The dude just now putting the video out for clout. Man, he so weird.

Another user wrote back that pulling out the padding from gloves, even if it is for sparring sessions, borders on criminal conduct. ‘GWOAT’ once again reiterated that she doesn’t have any problem getting knocked out while sparring. Most of the time, she fights men. However, Arturs Ahmetovs and his trainer, Derrick Santos, were ashamed, and when they squared up again, the boxer came with gloves without any or minimal padding. “I can’t make this up. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Very often, sparring sessions happen behind closed doors. Viewed only by trainers and select team members. They might be bound by disclosure clauses.

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Eminence not lessened

However, time and again, it has been proven. It’s nearly impossible to restrain someone from taking videos and releasing them over social media at the most opportune time in this age. Forums and groups on X/Twitter and Instagram are already abuzz over the Gervonta Davis-Devin Haney sparring leaks. But purely for discussions’ sake, what would have happened even if the knockdown had been genuine, bona fide? Given what Claressa Shields has achieved, both in and out of the ring, it would have barely dented her reputation and legacy. She remains one of the greatest boxers of the modern era. She is one of the ‘faces of boxing.’

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What’s your take on the whole controversy? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

Watch This Story: Sha’ Carri Richardson Roped in as World Champion Claressa Shields Reveals the Sport She’d Watch for the ‘Rest of Her Life’ Other Than Boxing

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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Gokul Pillai

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