Shields stated she had lengthy dreamed of changing into a two-sport champion and has envied how effectively M.M.A. has marketed feminine fighters. She likes that M.M.A. typically places ladies on playing cards with males and tells extra nuanced again tales about its fighters — she has an concept for a narrative about fighters being superior babysitters and cooks — making them extra interesting to followers.
Holly Holm, the previous U.F.C. champion who made the transition from boxing to M.M.A., credit U.F.C. president Dana White for making the game far more hospitable to ladies than boxing is. White rapidly realized what number of followers ladies can convey to the game after he signed Ronda Rousey, U.F.C.’s first feminine fighter, in 2012, and he or she grew to become one of many sport’s largest stars. Earlier than taking the prospect on Rousey, White had stated ladies would by no means battle within the U.F.C.
“Boxing wants somebody like him keen to place their neck on the market for ladies and to present them the publicity they want,” Holm stated. “Take a look at Christy Martin, she was on the undercard of Mike Tyson and was on the duvet of Sports activities Illustrated. Laila Ali was Muhammad Ali’s daughter. Proficient ladies should be seen. They want somebody consciously pushing for that to occur.”
And as soon as ladies are seen in boxing, Holm stated, followers will come again for extra and the game will develop, which is Shields’s plan for this Friday’s occasion. She hopes an enormous viewers will show her worldwide attain. Nonetheless many individuals tune in, whether or not it’s 20,000 or 120,000, she stated she’ll take it, after which construct on it.
Her dream is for an all-women’s sports activities community to point out ladies’s boxing on a regular basis in order that followers, together with her nieces and nephews, know the place to tune in to see an amazing ladies’s battle. On the very least, the channel would give her one other exercise to depend on for babysitting nights, she stated with fun.
“I’m not pushing for equality only for me as a result of, , I’ve had a fairly good profession thus far,” she stated. “I’m doing it for all of the younger individuals after me. I would like individuals to consider me sometime and say, ‘Claressa Shields was a lot larger than simply boxing. She helped change the world.’”