Claressa Shields had a messy split with the world of boxing. While she does plan on continuing in the sport, her move to MMA has been a very motivated financial decision. This is due to the lack of fair paying opportunities in boxing, which something Shields was very open about while speaking to us at EssentiallySports.
“Showtime hasn’t put a woman on since January. And that was me. You know, ESPN had Mikaela Mayer on, I think two or three times this year. And her opponents of course. Premier Boxing Champions don’t have any women. They never showed a women’s boxing match, I think until 2012. Shelly Vincent versus Heather Hardy and that was 2012.
“But if all these networks don’t get on board, and they don’t support us, and they don’t, you know, promote us, then we’ll never be equal. And you know, always be where it’s at right now. At just a standstill. With just one network doing what it is for Women’s boxing.”
In our interview with her, Shields also spoke about her role in ensuring women get a shot with major promoters like Showtime. “When I was boxing for Showtime, we made sure that that there were women on the undercard, I made sure of that.”
Shields also decided to call a spade a spade when she called boxing promoters sexist for their treatment of women’s boxing. “When it came to me it had my future opponents ready. I just feel like this year in 2020, they just dropped the ball for whatever reason. And I’m not gonna say that they were you know, I just think that right now, they just don’t know that. That they’re being sexist.”
She added, “A lot of networks don’t know, but it’s like just put women on the card that you have on and get the same opportunities and you won’t hear us complain. You won’t hear us keep yelling equality because if we had it, we wouldn’t do that.”
Shields will be making her debut for the Pro Fighters League this year and has taken up the fight for gender equality in boxing by continuing to fight in the sport to ensure parity.