Protect Black Women At All Costs | Jake Paul Should Catch Heat For Coming For Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields before her first professional MMA loss. Image Credit: @PFLMMA

Jake Paul has been coming for Claressa Shields for a minute now. However, after her first mixed martial arts loss to Abigail Montes on October 27th, the YouTuber turned professional fighter called Shields a “loser.”

Did Claressa Shields throw a verbal jab at him first, yes.

The Truth Hurts

However, she only confirmed the position of a pedigreed boxer who views the abnormality of Paul’s career through the lens of an actual athlete.

“I don’t know what world people live in that they think a man [could beat me] who has not been to the Olympics, who has not fought professionally,” said Shields to Sky Sports. “There are a lot of women in boxing who could [out-box] men, especially a regular Joe like Jake Paul.”

Shields’ assessment of Paul’s career is correct. However, it didn’t warrant a disrespectful response from Paul.

Protect Claressa Shields At All Costs

Except for UFC President Dana White and boxer Shakur Stevenson, the game didn’t come to Shields’ defense. This is with Shields being one of the biggest supporters not only for the sport but for fighters.

Perhaps because the Greatest Woman Of All Time has always been so confident no one has defended her.

However, aside from Laila Ali, there has never been a Black woman to take combat sports by storm the way Shields has. Except Shields pedigree is way deeper than Laila Ali’s.

As the only back-to-back Olympic gold medalist, Shields is the most decorated women’s amateur boxer of all time. She topped that by entering her professional career with all the hype and capitalizing on it.

The GWOAT

Now Shields is an undisputed light middleweight world champion. She headlined and promoted the first all-women’s boxing event on pay-per-view. She’s faced many of the best in her generation while transitioning over to MMA as a two-sport athlete.

Now that Shields has taken her first “L” in MMA, she should be congratulated for dominating her sport so much that moving to MMA was inevitable.

The money generated by women fighters in MMA dwarfs that of boxing, and Shields wants to be known as a PPV star in the long run. She was smart enough to start in the Professional Fighter’s League and not the UFC or even Bellator MMA where the killers reside.

Shields gave herself enough wiggle room to make mistakes while also showing she could handle herself in other combat sports. That is a commendable move for any fighter, let alone one of Shields’ caliber.

The Heel Factor

That is what makes Jake Shields’ social media jab so disrespectful. With no authentic lineage in boxing and leveraging the phenomenon of social media to become a sellable boxer is not on the same level as Shields.

Boxing has become so reminiscent of professional wrestling, where playing the role of the heel can catapult you into a pay-per-view fight. However, when a fighter like Shields has put in the work, they should be heralded as a standard-bearer.

Coming To Her Defense

“I feel like when Jake Paul was saying that, I don’t understand how he could talk,” said Shakur Stevenson on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation show with Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney.

“Like he went and talked sh*t to her and it’s like she actually fighting MMA people. Like she fought some people that actually do MMA. Everybody that Jake Paul goes fighting in the boxing ring he has not fought one real boxer yet. First fight was against a YouTuber, the other one was against a wrestler I think.”

“The next one was against an MMA fighter. He never fought one real boxer yet, so I don’t understand how he even have the right to talk sh*t to Claressa Shields.”

Stevenson and Shields both competed in the Rio Olympics, where she achieved gold and silver. They both came up through the ranks the old school way and have been raised by veteran boxing professionals.

UFC President Dana White echoed the sentiments. White has had a cantankerous public spat against Jake Paul.

“Nothing but respect for Claressa Shields,” White said to MMA Fighting. “To be looked at as the best female boxer and to come over here and start training and start to do this, not easy and nothing but respect for her. She lost a split decision? Which is even more impressive; in her second fight, she loses a split decision, which means one of the judges thought she won the fight.

“He better be careful; she might knock him out. So Jake Paul calls Claressa Shields a loser? Claressa Shields is nothing but a winner who actually fought real people in her weight class in her own age in her own sport and then goes over to MMA and tries to win a world title. That’s not a loser; that’s a winner, okay?”

Jake Paul chose a real one in taking potshots at Claressa Shields. Now the game must question why it didn’t defend her.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.