Claressa Shields says she’s ready to take on retired boxer, Laila Ali.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Myron Medcalf, Shields laid it all on the table.
“I feel like I’m the greatest woman of all time,” she said.
“I cannot be beat, not by a champion right now, a former world champion, a champion who’s bigger, stronger, faster, whatever you want to say. All these fighters have to prove it to me. And when she gets inside the ring, I have a game plan for everybody who I step in the ring with. And the fact that she’s going to bring out that 100% in me, you’re going to see a whole different Claressa Shields. And it’s going to be a war.”
In a recent interview with ESPN’s First Take, Laila Ali said that she was ready to rumble. “I have been outside the boxing gym, but I have been in the gym ever since I left I got nutrition products, spice blends,” said Ali.
“I am all about health and wellness I’m very healthy and have I been sitting around thinking about boxing no, but lately, there has been a little chatter.”
When pressed further by First Take hosts Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith about Shields, Ali got more direct. “There is definitely a possibility and I’m open to that possibility if the money is right,” said Ali.
“We want to see women grow and continue to inspire other people, right? And she has been calling me out, and she has taken offense to some things that I have said in the past that had nothing to do with her. And people have asked 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 and multiple streams of income I don’t need to do it and I have to want to do it.”
Many have referred to Ali’s age versus Shields’ age. Ali is 42, Shields is 24. Shields doesn’t seemed phased.
“Let’s not talk about age,” she told Myron Medcalf.
“You can’t say in one sentence, ‘Oh, I’m gonna knock Claressa Shields out, I’m a better fighter, I’m gonna come out of retirement and I’m gonna do this, but I’ve been retired 13 years.’ Take the 13 years out of it, or you can’t say, ‘but I’m 42.’ She’s making excuses already. ‘Oh I’ve been retired 13 years. Oh, I’m 42,'” Shields said. “If you really feel like you’re the baddest, you’re either going to come out of retirement and beat me at the age you’re at, or you’re going to leave boxing alone.”
On Friday afternoon, Shields revealed that an unnamed person has already offered money for the two to fight.
“The person wants to put up $15 million for the fight,” Shields said on Instagram Live.
“Listen here, the money’s here. $5 million to the loser, $10 million to the winner. Somebody has already reached out to Laila Ali’s team. I can’t force her to get in the ring with me. What’s the holdup lady champ?”