Claressa Shields: “I can beat Jake Paul in the weight class where I am now”
Claressa Shields doesn’t feel the Jake Paul hype. She believes she can now beat the social media boxing sensation in her current weight class.
“I can beat Jake Paul in the weight class I’m in right now,” Shields said at a press conference for his upcoming MMA fight for the Professional Fighters League on October 27.
The event will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Not a fan of Jake Paul
Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is today’s most decorated female boxer. In June, she expanded her athletic repertoire and had her first professional mixed martial arts fight with the PFL.
However, during the press conference for his second MMA event, Shields stuck with Jake Paul and his stance on boxing on his undercard.
“Never disrespect me,” Shields said. “I would never fight on a Jake Paul’s undercard [card]. I am a three-time divisional world champion, two-time Olympian in boxing. I would never fight on Jake Paul’s undercard.
Paul continued his rapid rise in the sport on August 29, picking up a split decision victory over former UFC Champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley. The two fought in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,000 fans at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, live on an action-packed SHOWTIME PPV TV show.
The judges scored the fight 78-74 and 77-75 for Paul and 77-75 for Woodley.
Shields has been women’s boxing’s foremost advocate for years. She has also organized several world championships in three weight categories.
Additionally, Shields has held the Undisputed Women’s Light Middleweight Title since March 2021 and the Undisputed Women’s Middleweight Title from 2019-2020. She also held the Unified Women’s WBC and IBF Super Middleweight Titles from 2017-18.
In short, she thinks she only deserves a headlining bag, not a sub-card or slot for the main event. Shields is not the headliner of the PFL MMA card. However, this is mixed martial arts, not boxing.
Kayla Harrison’s fight against Taylor Guardado to headline 2021 @PFLMMA Final on October 27.
The event will also feature Ray Cooper III against Magomed Magomedkerimov in the welterweight final and Claressa Shields’ second MMA fight, against Abigail Montes. (Going through @bokamotoESPN) pic.twitter.com/UTNGV6NsaN
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 27, 2021
“I don’t know what Amanda Serrano’s purse was, but I think it was $ 75,000, $ 100,000. I would never play another boxing match for that much money because I’m worth so much more, ”Shields said. “I’m a million dollar fighter.”
“And before I get into the undercard of a guy doing a circus show, no disrespect to Tyron Woodley, no disrespect to Jake Paul, but I’m a real boxer.”
Traditionally, women’s boxing has been in the shadow of men’s sport, with a few years of higher visibility based on female night boxing stars. Most notable are Laila Ali and Christy Martin, but even former undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus never received the highest notoriety.
However, in MMA, women are the best ticket sellers. This is why Shields ventured into another sport.
MMA: a fighter’s dream
Shields joins the PFL action at its next event in October, where a divisional title holder will be decided among heavyweights, light heavyweights, welterweights, lightweights and featherweights.
However, the women’s lightweight final with Kayla Harrison is the main event. Harrison won the 2010 World Judo Championships, gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She is now looking for her second PFL Championship against size underdog Taylor Guardado (3-1).
“I could beat Jake Paul in the weight class I’m in right now.
“I would never fight over someone’s undercard who doesn’t have the skills or accomplishments that I have.” pic.twitter.com/sXenbP3B9V
– MansionBet (@MansionBet) September 30, 2021
Claressa Shields will take on Abigail Montes at the event, keeping the fight focused on female fights.
“It’s (boxing) a sexist sport,” Shields told The Athletic. “It’s sexist with the opportunities we are given. It’s sexist with the TV hour. It’s sexist with how much we get paid. All three.”
Shields recently entered into a multi-fight deal with UK broadcaster Sky Sports. She will now appear on cards promoted by Boxxer, a UK promotion company that has an exit deal with Sky Sports.