Claressa Shields Reveals What Laila Ali Wants For A Fight Against Her
It appears as if talks between a Claressa Shields and Laila Ali fight have been stalled once again. The main culprit this time around has to do with money.
Not that long ago, Ali (24-0) expressed an interest in facing the WBA, WBC, IBO, WBO and The Ring Middleweight Champion in Shields (10-0). One of the main things that would inspire her to fight for the first time since 2007 was the opponent and the purse. The latter seems to be the big holdup, as Shields believes Ali is not helping with her demands.
“If you want to fight, let’s fight,” Shields stated to Boxing Scene. “She had all these money demands of $5 million out of the gate when no woman has ever made that much money in women’s boxing. Nobody thinks $5 million is even reasonable because we are women fighters. She’s only made $600,000 as her [highest earning purse in her career] in 21 fights. I’m making $400,000 in my next fight, in just 10 fights.”
Shields last fought in January, beating rival Ivana Habazin for the WBC and WBO Light-Middleweight Titles. She was supposed to fight Marie-Eve Dicaire but that bout was postponed due to the coronavirus. In the middle of staying active, Shields does not believe her terms are realistic, especially if Ali has not even announced she is coming out of retirement yet.
The 42-year-old Ali started her career in 1999 and has 21 wins via knockout. Her last fight was a TKO win over Gwendolyn O’Neil in 2007. Ali retired before a match against Ann Wolfe came into fruition. She did face Christy Martin in 2003, beating her via fourth-round KO. The daughter of Muhammad Ali, Laila was a former IBA, WIBA, and WBC Super-Middleweight Champion.
Like Mark Taffet, Shields believes the fight between the two could generate a lot of money. She told Boxing Scene it could do at least 900,000 buys. Shields has managed to take the boxing world by storm due to her power and gift of gab. She believes both can help her in the future, even if Ali doesn’t want to help out with a deal.
“Do I want to fight her and beat her? Yes. If the fight doesn’t happen, am I going to be mad about it or sad that my career is worth anything? No,” Shields went on to say. “She thinks she’s a bigger name than I am in boxing. She’s not … I’m going to make $1 million with or without Laila Ali. Trust me. The last name Shields can do it.”
In Shields’ last bout she earned $300,000. The hope is the two can reach a split, or at least one that would benefit both.