Claressa Shields: I’m not gonna sit around and wait

Claressa Shields will attempt to become a fully unified champion in a second division in the main event of a four-fight telecast.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist soundly defeated previously unbeaten German Christina Hammer (26-1, 12 KOs, 1 NC) on points to become the undisputed middleweight champion in April 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

She moved down to junior middleweight for her subsequent bout and dominated Croatia’s Ivana Habazin (20-4, 7 KOs) in another 10-rounder to become a three-division champion by winning the WBC and WBO 154-pound crowns.

“It is extremely disappointing,” Salita said. “You could say that women’s boxing got hurt disproportionately as a result of the pandemic. With great power comes great responsibility, so you know, there are only a couple of stores in town that pay for business. And there was no way to get Claressa – who’s the greatest American fighter of all time – on TV.”

“That’s the truth. So, there was nothing else for us to do [other than pay-per-view]. As a promoter, I believe it’s my responsibility to Claressa and the other fighters I represent to create new possibilities. When people say no, and I believe in the talent of Claressa, you have to look for new possibilities and new avenues and new revenues, any place to do the business. And that’s what we did because there was nothing else we could do.

“We really knocked on every door several times, and those doors were not opened. We’ve had discussions with different outlets. Some were new to boxing to an extent, and some that are in boxing. And nothing came to fruition. It was very surprising. And it’s not right that the best female fighter in the world cannot get a date on American television.”

“A pay-per-view card with all women, I think this is great,” Shield said. “I think this will start a wave to show them, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of other great women that can do this.’ Like Amanda Serrano, she has a huge fan base and she can fight against other champions. I think this can be a new wave for us, so we can dictate how much we get paid and how much we don’t. You know, some of these networks tell us, ‘You’re not worth a million dollars. You’re not worth $500,000.”

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