Claressa Shields is taking a leap of faith this Friday.
After being inactive during the majority of 2020, through no fault of her own, she and her team are promoting her next fight by themselves.
No SHOWTIME broadcast partner in place like her usual outings, this time she is taking her athletic talents direct to the fans.
“We do not feel it would be appropriate to comment on the contents of our private conversations with athletes and talent, other than to state that we disagree with the characterization of those exchanges,” Espinoza said in a statement to ESPN.
“At just 25 years old, Claressa Shields is a tremendous talent, which is the reason we have invested heavily in her over the last several years. We wish her well in her March 5 fight, and we hope to work with her again in the future.”
Headlining a card aptly titled, SuperWomen, Shields faces off against Marie-Eve Dicaire in a pay-per-view fight of her own making on Fite TV.
Here is the PPV lineup for the Undisputed Junior Middleweight title bout between Claressa Shields and Marie-Eve Dicaire for this Friday, airing on @FiteTV. Big fight and I can’t wait for it. pic.twitter.com/ZhZvMvjH83
— Carlos Toro (@CarlosToroMedia) March 3, 2021
The all-women card features five fights at the Dort Financial Center in Shields native Flint, Michigan. This will be the first women’s fight to headline a boxing pay-per-view in 20 years since Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier-Lyde in 2001.
With phenomenal women’s fighters like undisputed former welterweight champ Cecilia Braekhus, Heather Hardy, Amanda Serrano, and more, why aren’t the women athletes receiving the same fanfare?
Almost Doesn’t Count?
Claressa Shields is the only U.S. Olympian to win back-to-back gold medals in any sport for Team USA. The world termed with anticipation for her pro debut regulating that she could become a bigger force than even Laila Ali in boxing.
After all, Laila doesn’t have a gold medal. However, she had a last name that is nothing short of iconic in the sport during an era that had names like Christy Martin, Erin Toughill, and her legacy fight with Frazier-Lyde.
For Shields, there are no standout matchups except when he fought then-undefeated Christina Hammer back in 2019 to become undisputed at middleweight.
When she beat Ivana Habazin via unanimous decision back in January 2020, it made her the fastest boxer in history to win titles in three weight divisions.
Shields accomplished this is 10 fights.
Will be on host duties for the upcoming Claressa Shields-Marie Eve Dicaire PPV this Friday night. @Claressashields is riding a 61-fight win streak (last loss was to Savannah Marshall in 2009 amateurs) and looking to become first fighter to be undisputed in TWO weight classes.
— Dan Canobbio (@DanCanobbio) March 2, 2021
When she faces Dicaire, she will be fighting for yet another undisputed distinction at light-middleweight, the first for any fighter.
Still the fight isn’t receiving the fanfare it deserves.
With only 200 fans eligible to be in the building, the $29.99 PPV price point is where the money resides for Shields’ next fight.
She joins her male counterparts like Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Devin Haney and more in promoting herself, however, sans a bigger network of streaming service, she truly is a pioneer.
Add the fact that she is looking to make her mixed martial arts debut sometime this year with the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) and Shields is making her own lane.
Are you paying attention now?