Taffet: Ali-Shields Could Be The Next Big PPV Fight
Talks have been heating up between Laila Ali and Claressa Shields, two of the top female fighters of boxing’s past and present. From coverage on ESPN to callouts in the boxing ring, we have seen the rivalry progress every step of the way. If the two do fight, it could result in a huge profit.
According to Shields’ manager, it could end up being one of the top PPV’s in boxing today. Mark Taffet, the former HBO PPV executive, has been next to Shields (10-0) every step of the way. Seeing as how he has been around some of the top fighters from all over, he believes the bout between Ali (24-0) and Shields could change the game for not just women, but boxing in general.
“It can not only be one of the biggest female PPV fights, but I can make it one of the biggest PPV fights — period. Hopefully they step up,” Taffet stated to Boxing Scene. “Claressa has the confidence and she wants to step up to the plate and be a game changer. Laila can do the same. I hope she and her team engage in significant conversations. We would love to bring that fight to the public. They will make more money than they ever dreamed of.. I will marshal every single resource to make sure we get the best revenue.”
Ali a former WIBA, IWBF and IBA Super-Middleweight Champion, hasn’t fought professionally since 2007. The two have been going at it for a while, with Ali discrediting Shields as “The GWOAT” since she hasn’t fought real competition. Ali has since went on ESPN programming to state that she would come out of retirement to face Shields.
“She’s been calling me out,” Ali stated. “She’s taken offense to some things I’ve said in the past that had nothing to do with her. And people are asking me: Would you come back? Well, I have to be inspired by the opponent. I have to be inspired by the purse, because I have multiple things going on, multiple streams of income. I don’t need to do it. I have to want to do it.”
Shields is coming off of facing some of the top fighters from around the world. She beat both Christina Hammer and Ivana Habazin via unanimous decision. In the Hammer fight Shields, the WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion, won WBO and The Ring gold. Against Habazin, she moved within the divison and won the WBC and WBO Light-Middleweight Titles.
Due to Ali’s life outside of boxing, it may be difficult to make the fight. Taffet, however, believes anything is possible.
“If marketed and publicized appropriately, it would make it a significant event,” Taffet went on to say. “If Laila steps up, I can make that deal in a day. All we need are willing participants on the other side. Ali has to walk it, not talk about it. If they will, I will take them on a journey they will never regret.”
Would you like to see Ali v. Shields?