Female World Champion Claressa Shields Challenges Men! Shawn Porter Says No.
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
“I spar with men. I bust them up (men’s noses). I beat up men all the time. I think I can beat up Keith Thurman. I really do. I want to fight Keith Thurman. I want to fight GGG (Gennady Golovkin). They may be stronger than me, but their boxing ability isn’t like mine. GGG is older now. I could give GGG a run for his money!” says Claressa Shields.
Undefeated and undisputed female World Middleweight champion Claressa Shields says she can beat men in the ring. Given, her lopsided titular unifying win over Christina Hammer, Shields thinks the only real challenge left for her is the ultimate challenge of fighting men. The big question is which male versus Shields will be the super fight.
In the first reply to Shields, Shawn Porter says whoever fight Shields, it won’t be him.
World Boxing Council Welterweight champion Shawn Porter replied to the Shields wolf cry, stating that while the idea is cute, he isn’t interested in fighting Shields, explaining the proposal of Shields fighting the top men in the boxing game right now is “An animal she (Claressa) is not really prepared for.” Porter feels for Shields to ascends to such a boxing milestone, she would have to restart her career form the beginning, and fight men in her weight class from the bottom up, working her way into male contention like the rest.
Shields is on the rise in terms of boxing ability and confidence. Sparring is not the same as an actual fight. It would depend on which men she fights, and in what weight class. Shields may have a major point though. Female boxing is not of great interest, and some female fighters, even female world champions, have even turned to MMA in pursuit of decent and regular paydays. Shields is attempting to sell a new type of super fight to the boxing public.
If any major male boxing champion were to accept the Shields challenge, it would be promoted into a Pay-Per-View male versus female super fight. Shields has found the perfect timing in his career to promote such an event concept between genders. Boxing needs a mega boost in the arm, and given general public disappointment with Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller for testing positive for a banned substance and forcing World Heavyweight champion to find a new opponent for his scheduled June 1, 2019 title defense at Madison Square Garden, Shields idea represents a spectacular something new and different.
No female has ever fought a male professionally, or been rated in the male boxing ratings any major or minor boxing organization in the history of professional boxing, pre-internet and internet. If Shields, who spars with men (other talented females have, though this is generally rare), intends to challenge for a male world title, then she would have to take to fighting men in six, eight and 10 round bouts, and see where the idea goes. As far as putting Claressa in against middleweights like Daniel Jacobs, GGG, Saul Canelo Alvarez and Billy Jo Saunders, as Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry once said “Go ahead. Make my day.”
Shields best current option is to fight 35-0 undisputed female World Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, a Colombian fighting out of Norway. Braekhus fights at 147. Shields fights at 160. A 154 pound catch weight is proposed.
In the absence of any real competition overall, Shields considers her best option might be fighting pro bouts against men. There is no law which says she can’t. There is no commission which has ever been asked if women can fight men. The greater consideration is how the general public would take it if a male champion fought a female champion, and the female would up getting hurt. Shields got decked in the first round in June 2018 in her hometown by WBA and WBO Female Super Welterweight champion Hanna Gabriels, a much smaller fighter. Promoter Dmitriy Salita will have to choose Shields’ next direction, which seems more likely next to be another female opponent for the 9-0 Shields, whose unbeaten record as a top technical fighter includes only two knockouts thus far.