Claressa Shields Scores The Knockout Win In MMA Debut, Stops Brittney Elkin In The Third
By: Hans Themistode
Boxing, at least to a certain extent, had become both too easy and not rewarding enough. So after dominating as an amateur and pro, Claressa Shields figured that she could do the same in an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) octagon, she was right.
For months on end, Shields trained tirelessly for her MMA debut in the Professional Fighters League (PFL), an organization in which she signed a multi-fight contract to compete under. In her first official fight under mixed martial arts rules, Shields took home a third-round stoppage victory over Brittney Elkin.
Although on paper, Shields walked into their showdown as the favorite, Elkin’s experience was difficult to overcome.
Shields marched her way to the octagon in Atlantic City, New Jersey, kicked her shoes and stepped into the cage. Early on, she proved that her world-class striking ability could easily translate as she tagged her opponent on multiple occasions. But, as expected, Elkins managed to get their contest to the ground and that’s where things got complicated for Shields.
As the multiple division boxing champion had grown accustomed to trampling over the competition in the ring, she admits that she had to bite down on her mouth guard and dig deep against Elkin’s.
“Every time I sat down in the corner, I was like ‘Damn, I lost another round,’” said Shields after her victory. “I came out for the second round, lost the second round. Then came the third round, my coach said to not get taken down. She got me on the ground but she never hurt me. None of her punches hurt me. None of her armbars—nothing.
“I never doubted myself in a boxing match in my life. MMA is something like, it’s possible I can lose this first fight. I don’t want to lose but all I could do was just try not to lose. I just had a never quit attitude every round.”
Quitting has never been a part of Shields vocabulary but before tonight, losing rounds wasn’t either. After going 64-1 as an amateur with two Olympic Gold medals and 11-0 as a pro with world titles in three separate weight classes, including two undisputed title reigns, Shields rarely lost a round. Yet, as noted by Shields, her dominance in the ring didn’t exactly translate to the octagon.
Refusing to accept defeat, however, Shields got exactly what she was looking for in the final round. After Elkin’s failed to secure a takedown, Shields took full advantage, buzzing her opponent as she attempted to get the fight on the ground. With precious time ticking off the clock, Shields went for the stoppage. As the referee looked on, he attempted to give Elkin’s the benefit of the doubt. With that said, after Shields scored shot after unanswered shot, he was forced to call off their contest.
Although there was no title on the line, Shields celebrated as if she had just won one. Now, as Shields is officially a two-sport athlete, she replayed the final moments in the octagon that allowed her to pick up her first MMA win.
“I just seen that she didn’t like getting hit. She was exposed. Coach kept saying, ‘Let her out.’ I was like, ‘I’m not letting her up.’ She turned toward me. I pushed myself toward her again, and it was over.”
Claressa Shields: “They Need To Come With That Dough And I’ll Be Seeing Katie (Taylor) At 147”
By: Hans Themistode
There is essentially no one left for Claressa Shields to face.
After unifying the 168-pound division earlier in her career, Shields went on to become an undisputed belt holder at 160 pounds and most recently, she doubled up on her undisputed tag by dropping down in weight yet again to win every single title at 154 pounds.
Her claim as the best female fighter in the world is difficult to fulminate against considering the lack of options she has at her disposal.
Currently, the only other fighter who is worth mentioning in terms of serious competition, is undisputed lightweight champion, Katie Taylor. The weight discrepancy however, makes their showdown more of a pipe dream.
Or maybe not.
Following her latest win over Marie Eve Dicaire this past Friday night, Shields revealed that she would be willing to go down even lower in weight if a matchup with Taylor can be made.
Despite Taylor holding an undefeated record, numerous world titles and worldwide recognition as one of the greatest female fighters of her generation, Shields seemed unaffected by her long list of accolades.
To the Flint Michigan native, handling Taylor won’t be much of an issue. But dragging her body down even lower in weight will be.
“Katie Taylor is not the worry in that sense,” said Shields during her post-fight interview. “The 147 is. Katie is a great fighter.”
For Shields, facing Taylor at 147 pounds will make her feel strange when she walks past the mirror. Losing a few extra pounds for a male fighter isn’t viewed as much of a big deal. In her case however, Shields likes what she sees whenever she looks at her reflection and knows that if she does drain her body down to the welterweight limit, that she’ll ultimately lose an important part of her curvy body.
“They got to pay me a lot of money for me to lose my butt to go down to 147. At the end of the day, I’m a woman and that’s something that I love about my body. I may not have big breasts but I got a nice butt and I would lose that to go to 147.”
As much as she adores her body though, Shields would be perfectly alright with trading in her curves for a big bag of cash.
“They need to come with that dough and I’ll be seeing Katie at 147. At least with a million, talk to me nice.”
For Taylor, she has never competed at 147 pounds, although she did make one appearance at 140 roughly two years ago against Christina Linardatou. Taylor would win that contest via unanimous decision.
While it’s too early to assume that they will in fact fight, at this point in time, the Taylor might just be the only competition left for Shields.
Billy Joe Saunders Gets License Suspended and is Ripped by Heather Hardy and Claressa Shields
By: Hans Themistode
For the better part of four years, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders spent the vast majority of his time calling out Canelo Alvarez. After years of employing the same tactics, Saunders finally got his wish. A date with Alvarez on May 2nd with Saunders WBO title on the line.
Now, ironically enough, Saunders used his words to land the biggest fight of his career. But now, his words are about to cost him.
With the entire world seemingly on quarantine thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, Saunders thought it would be funny to share a video of what men should do to their female spouses should they get on their nerves too much during isolation.
Saunders quickly found out that he was the only one in the room laughing.
Domestic violence has always been a hot button topic. Too many athletes have found themselves in trouble for simply failing to keep their hands to themselves. Saunders may not have actually put his hands on a female, but everyone, including his promoter Eddie Hearn is shaking their head at him.
“I was appalled really,” said Hearn. “It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He’s a really good kid, with a really good heart … but every now and again he does the most stupid things.”
“It’s unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It’s much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it’s unacceptable.”
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a common occurrence. Yet, you might be willing to bet that one woman has never had to deal with it. That would be arguably the best female boxer in the world, Claressa Shields. With two gold medals, world titles in three different weight classes and an undefeated record, you would have to be crazy to even think about putting your hands on Shields.
While she isn’t worried about herself. She did offer a bit of advice to all the ladies in abusive relationships.
Necessary? Also yes.
Another fighter who decided to jump all over Billy Joe Saunders is former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy.
“This is not funny,” Hardy wrote in a Tweet that she has since deleted. “I can’t imagine the number of people quarantined in abusive and dangerous spaces right now, and this dumb piece of sh*t makes a joke about ‘how to hit your annoying wife.”
The words of Hardy, Shields and Hearn were sharp, but Saunders really felt it when his boxing license was suspended.
“Having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media,” the BBBofC said in a statement, “we have suspended his boxer’s license pending a hearing under the board’s misconduct regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”
Saunders has always been known as having thick skin and unapologetic. But this time around, he’s noticed that he made a huge mistake.
For what it’s worth, the boxing community has seemingly appreciated the apology. Even Hardy came around and apparently wants to sweep things under the rug.
While Hardy may not think that Saunders is “dick head” the rest of the world may still feel that way. He has always been perceived in an unfavorable light and this situation certainly doesn’t help.
If Saunders hopes to get into the good graces of everyone he’ll need to take even more action. That would include becoming a social advocate against domestic violence.
As for his contest with Canelo, unless he can somehow get his license back, he may have lost the biggest fight of his career before it even started.