“This Is Like The Premier League vs. Women Football” | Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson Against Taylor vs. Serrano Gets Side Eye From Claressa Shields

Image Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan

Claressa Shields feels some way about what Top Rank founder and chairman Bob Arum had to say.

The Hall of Fame promoter is hosting a blockbuster bout featuring Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson, reportedly on April 30. However, that is the same day that a mega women’s fight takes place, where Katie Taylor will face Amanda Serrano.

However, for Arum, the date conflict is inconsequential as, in his opinion, the women’s game is not a threat to a male fighter-led promotion.

“People don’t particularly pay attention to the women’s fights,” Arum told IFL.tv. “ESPN made the schedule and they couldn’t care less. I don’t want to denigrate fights. I don’t want to be accused of being anti-women in sports, but I’m telling you, this is like the Premier league vs. women football.”

Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano is an undisputed showdown in the women’s lightweight division that was confirmed last Thursday. Taylor is an Irish boxing legend and Serrano is a Puerto Rican boxing icon, referred to as the other “GWOAT” or greatest woman of all time next to Claressa Shields.

The women are the first female boxing headliners in Madison Square Garden’s long boxing history. Serrano is a WBC/WBO/IBO featherweight champion and Taylor is a two-weight world champion and the current undisputed lightweight champion.

Top Rank is willing to place the men’s junior-lightweight unification head-to-head with the women-led DAZN fight night, now being billed as the most prominent women’s bout of all time.

Two-time women’s undisputed champion Claressa Shields took to Twitter to discuss Arum’s sentiments.

“I really wanna speak on this…. But I’ll wait lol. Both fights are amazing,” said Shields.

Quickly, Shakur Stevenson picked up on the chatter and offered his take.

“Our fight is the bigger fight tho, He shouldn’t have said that tho I feel y’all,” said Stevenson, whom Arum promotes.

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The Clap Back

However, Shields quipped back.

“Not disagreeing but if you are a true boxing fan your are thinking of a plan right now on how to watch both!”
The conversation almost took a wrong turn when Stevenson tweeted, “I feel u shhhh and tune into ya brudda.”
However, Shields took it all lightly, replying, “You know I’m tuning in baby bro! Come on now!”

The Plot Thickens

Many subplots surround the two fights. YouTuber turned boxer-promoter-fighter advocate Jake Paul is the promoter behind Amanda Serrano. He and Claressa Shields have been going at each other in the media and social media, with Shields leaving an open invitation to spar with Paul.

Both Serrano, Taylor, Shields, and Savannah Marshall are the leaders of the women’s ranks currently. Each is on a collision course with each other in their respective divisions, making the women’s ranks more popular.

“I Hope Savannah Marshall Shows Up At The Fight” | Claressa Shields Goes To The UK In Chase To Be Undisputed Again

Additionally, Stevenson is stepping up in competition against Valdez. However, Valdez has been the recipient of criticisms after a failed PED test led him to steer his last fight to a less medically stringent Indian reservation casino.

The head-to-head booking will show not only the great matchups that boxing still has to produce but give the women’s ranks a more prominent platform to compete.


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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.