Claressa Shields darn sure hit a speedbump with the cancellation of her last fight. Thing is, the Flint, Michigan hitter is not unaccumstomed to negotiating speedbumps and potholes.
She had to scratch and claw and punch her way out of some pretty dire home life, and in the ring, she found a calling, and a sanctuary. But the sanctuary can’t hold for everyone forever; real life intrudes, and even if she, say, is walking a straight line, that doesn’t mean she can’t get folded into drama.
That occurred at the weigh-in, when an assailant smashed the coach of her foe. Bashir Ali was taken to the hospital, and battled back to the point where he is home, and hopefully recovering fully. Ivana Habazin was tearful at seeing her coach felled, but said she wanted to honor the contract, and indeed take on Shields when things get smoothed.
That seems to be the case; promoter Dmitriy Salita has a room booked in Atlantic City to finally get that Shields vs Habazin scrap off the ground. The Ocean is the venue and the reset tango will screen on Showtime.
Yeah, it looks and sounds like Shields is back on track. She said that she will double dip, and do MMA next year. And then, a development, an immense honor; a biopic will get produced, laying out in filmic glory the rise to pugilistic prominence for the girl from Flint who went on to Olympic glory, and is now seeking to be known, without clap-back in any circle, as the greatest of all-time in the women’s game.
“Her next fight is January 10th, she is trying to win three titles faster then anyone in history of the sport,” Salita told me.
Is the boxing promoter not threatened by Shields’ desire to learn mixed martial arts? Might she maybe jump ship and stay over there?
“The experience of combat sports is changing for the fans and Mayweather vs McGregor was a great example of that at the highest level. Claressa wants to be a two-sport star, but boxing is obviously her sport. She is looking for mega events like a fight with Amanda Nunes or something similar.”
And that flick — that could be grand, really widen her appeal, bring new eyeballs to the women’s boxing scene, right?
“I believe it’s an incredibly inspirational story that will inspire us all,” Salita said. “Most importantly, kids and the next generation. Claressa’s story is is about overcoming the odds. Life challenges were stacked against her in every way, but her belief in herself, and a higher power, and a dream, combined with focus and hard work, has her reaching incredible heights. I believe she is on her way to be mentioned in the same sentence with all the greats, the Jackie Robinsons, Peles, Billie Jean Kings, Muhammad Alis, Michael Jordans — the athletes that transcended their sport and used their talents as a vehicle to inspire others. I can’t wait to see Claressa Shields on the big screen!”
Universal is slated to offer up “Flint Strong,” and Ryan Destiny of “Star” on FOX will play the pugilist.
It will be interesting to see how production chooses to handle her personality. She got to where she is by being strong, tough, stubborn, and sometimes her manner can ruffle feathers. Especially in a society that has not embraced the presence of female leaders, and that still holds pockets of people who haven’t gotten over the North vs South dynamic which led to Civil War.
For these reasons, Shields pushes buttons — she pushes mine sometimes, and has me holding up a mirror and facing my own assumptions which stem from coming from different circumstances than her — and has a healthy contingent of bashers who like to follow her actions and dissect and detract. Like with this Tweet:
Ivana scary ass finally signed the contract😂 see you Jan 10th lying ass