(AllHipHop Rumors) Claressa Shields is one of the best pound-for-pound boxers out, period. In January, she made history and she made a proclamation. “None of these girls are ready for me – I’m the GWOAT (greatest woman of all time),” the Flint, Michigan native yelled at the end of her last fight, brutally beating Croatia’s Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City.
It was at that time that 25-year old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the fastest boxer in history to win world titles in three weight classes. Since, she has continued to ascend, gaining a massive fan base and her fair share of haters too. One of her critics includes Laila Ali, who made comments that sparked a verbal bout between the two, and may lead to a fight. At 42, Ali is almost 20 years older than her boxing peer. Nevertheless, Ali remains an enduring name in boxing and a fight between the two would be huge.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, AllHipHop’s resident boxing junkie, talks to Claressa about her career goals, how she’s dealing with coronavirus, how she deals with social media haters and also, how a PPV fight looks like with Laila Ali.
AllHipHop: Now first things first. How are you doing in this environment? Pandemics don’t come around the way too often and everybody’s dealing with it in different ways. How are you dealing with it?
Claressa Shields: It’s been like a vacation for me. I get to stay at home. I got my gym in the basement. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and it’s more of like a vacation for me. So I’m actually enjoying it, not enjoying everybody being sick and stuff, but more enjoying I finally get some downtime because my life is always going like a hundred miles per hour. So I’m happy that it just slowed down a bit.
AllHipHop: Now you were in the middle of training, right? You were in camp, am I correct?
Claressa Shields: No, I was getting ready to start camp.
AllHipHop: You were getting ready to start camp.It’s all speculative, but what are they saying as far as when we’ll be able to go back to fights and sports and…
Claressa Shields: I haven’t heard a thing. I think that my manager told me we’re looking at … he said we may be looking at the end of June for me to fight against Marie-Eve Dicaire, but I’m not really sure. They’re saying on the national news that they may not be having large groups and stuff and they’re even canceling concerts til next year, 2021. So I don’t have any idea when I’ll be in the ring again. But I know he did say something about fighting with no crowd. I was like, “Look, you put me in a ring to fight, you pay me my check, I’ll fight anywhere, but I’m not going to fight with no crowd influence. You could take me somewhere else to have a fight, but I’m not going to fight without a crowd here in Flint.”
AllHipHop: Wow. That’s dope. That’s dope. I love that you represent Flint because that means everything to, I’m sure, the people of Flint but also some of us outside of Flint knowing the struggles that they’ve been through. We’re always rooting for Flint even when it’s not in the headlines. So big salute to Flint and everything that you do to bring attention to the city.
Claressa Shields: Thank you.
AllHipHop: Definitely. Now, I know this goes without saying, but do you, at this point, assuredly, a lot of times we use the word self-proclaimed, but in terms of being the greatest woman of all time, you feel definitely that you’re the greatest of all time as a woman in boxing?
Claressa Shields: Why not ? Of course, I do. I think that I kind of get offended when people say self-proclaimed because I spoke it into existence. When I first started my pro career, I didn’t say nothing about it. It started when I won my first world championship, when I knocked a girl who was 17-0 versus me, who was 4-0. She wasn’t just to 17-0, but she was 17-0 with nine knockouts. I went in there and knocked her out in the fifth round at 168 pounds in my fourth professional fight main event on Showtime.
That’s where it GWOAT came from. Did I feel that way about myself before then? Yes, but I didn’t have enough confidence to actually speak it out there because being worried about how much I hadn’t achieved. But to be the fastest woman to win a world championship, being the first woman fight main event on premium television on Showtime, knocking out a girl was undefeated, to me, that’s where it started. I’m not the only one that call myself the GWOAT. It’s a lot of people now that consider me the GWOAT. It’s not just me.
AllHipHop: Yeah, of course.
Claressa Shields: It’s a lot of people now and I just continue to break barriers. I think people hear the word three-time division world champion and they kind of go, “Oh, she only got three belts?”. “Nah, that’s three divisions, homie.” I got nine world titles
AllHipHop: And that’s men or women. That’s not just limited to women.
Claressa Shields: So I’m the fastest three-time division world champion in history. I beat Lomachenko’s record at having 12 fights and doing it. I’ve done it in 10. I’m also a nine-time world champion overall. I came from one 168 fighting at 154 now and possibly going down to 147 for a big fight against the Cecilia Brækhus to become a four-time division world champion and also be throned the other undisputed champion at welterweight. So I’m the GWOAT because I’m willing to take on any challenge against anybody and I’m willing to go in there and put it all on the line. I think that’s where GWOAT comes from. Muhammad Ali fought against everybody. He fought everybody, even after he got older. Anybody that wanted smoke, he was there.
AllHipHop: Right. Speaking of Ali, you have been very, very vocal about Laila Ali, his daughter. What is it about her that is so interesting to you as someone to potentially fight?
Claressa Shields: You know what? At first, for a long time, it wasn’t. I never used her name to push my own career. I’ve always just had it just Claressa Shields, Claressa the GWOAT, Claressa the T-Rex. I never tried to use Laila Ali to help build my own career or get extra fans. She came at me and when she came at me, I was a little shocked. But then again, I was like, “Well, what did you expect? You’re the greatest women of all time and before you came, that was her. She was the greatest woman of all time, who everybody considered to be that.” So when I seen her talking a little smack about me, how she wasn’t supporting me and stuff. At first, I was thinking like, “I’m thinking too much about it.” But then when she came out on The Breakfast Club and said she’ll come out of retirement, but there’s no girl good enough to give her a challenge, basically, like we’re all too easy. She’ll knock anybody out, all the champions.
I was like, “Whoa.” To me, I felt like it was a direct shot to me. Then I just responded. I respond to everybody. Anybody who want to fight me, anybody that want smoke, I just respond. So I think she thought with her saying that, that I wasn’t going to respond because she was so used to other girls kind of just letting it be the Ali way and it’s more like whatever she says goes. She’s the boss. She’s in charge. She’s the greatest. I just was like, I’ve never felt she was a better fighter than me and that’s even back when I was in the amateurs. So of course, I was just like, “If you going to talk like that, we can fight.” Then from there, so kind of got really upset and took it to where, oh, she wants to fight and she’ll knock me out. She’ll do this, she’ll do that.
I’m a person that can say, “You can say whatever you want, but I want you to come do it.” That’s why we are talking about the fighting. I would never fight that interesting because she’s older. But just because she’s older don’t mean she’s not a good fighter. I’m just saying, I know I have more boxing experience than her. People can say, “Oh, she was pro nine years and you were pro only three.” I’ve been boxing for 14 years total now, 11 to the age of 25. She boxed since she was from the age of 20 to 29, big difference.
AllHipHop: Big difference. Do you see it happening? Do you think it will happen? Do you think this fight will get made?
Claressa Shields: She keep making a big deal about this $5 million, about the money. I need somebody just go on ahead, get with us and they should be sponsoring the 5 million to her. I feel like for a fight to get made, we have to cater to her and it’s like you don’t have to cater to me because I want to fight. I’ll fight whoever, whenever. But it’s like to her, she wants to be catered to. She wants to feel like she’s the bigger name. You got to feed her ego type of deal. So I need somebody to be like, “You know what? I’ll feed her ego. I’ll give her five million, five million for you to fight Claressa.” Then we have to come to an agreement about the split between us as far as in the Pay-Per-View numbers, which if she’s getting 5 million upfront, I would have to get the biggest split as far as in the Pay-Per-View numbers, whatever they are. I feel like we can do big numbers because this fight is huge and we can promote it to be huge.
AllHipHop: No doubt. It’s funny, I met Laila a long time ago and at the time I was gung ho, I guess you could say. So the first thing I said to her is, “Why won’t you fight Ann Wolfe?” I was like, “Yo, why did I do that?” It was comedy for me because I was so hyped up because she and Anne Wolfe were supposed to fight and Ann Wolfe was the beast at that … she was crazy with it at that time. But, I don’t know, she gave me some answer related to money, so a lot of this comes down to the money.
Claressa Shields: But that’s the thing, though. It’s like, “Why do everybody got the same story for you?” How come everybody always saying, “Oh yeah, we called her out,” but then your excuse is, “Oh, but the money. Oh, but the money.” It’s like everybody not lying on you. Didn’t nobody duck you. Wasn’t nobody scared of you. It’s more than just Ann Wolfe who said that Laila Ali wouldn’t fight her. It was a girl named Leatitia Robinson who said the same thing. It’s a few other girls too and it’s like, why does everybody have to be picking on you or lying or you?It’s not like that. If the 5 million was out the picture, if she would just say, “Okay, doing the Pay-Per-View split, we got to go 50- 50.” I’d be okay. All right, 50-50, let’s go. Whatever the numbers is, we split that down the middle and go on about our day, but she wants to make it difficult.
AllHipHop: True. Well, I hope it happens. Now one thing I want to ask you about is you and social media. Social media is, man, it’s an interesting thing. You definitely stir the pot up. Oh man, I’ll put it like this. I’m not saying you stir the pot up, but when people comment you respond and-
Claressa Shields: (Shows shirt) Not sorry.
AllHipHop: Well, I just be observing. I’m like man, I don’t know how you deal with it. To me, it’s stress.
Claressa Shields: Yeah, it can be stressful sometimes, but I’m a person that like I take on confrontation head on. I’m not a person to run away from it, walk away from it. I’m more of a, “If you got a problem with me then let’s discuss it. Let’s talk about what your problem is.” If the trolls get too disrespectful, I’ll block them, for sure. But I be wanting to hear what people got to say. All I do is come back with facts. When I come back with facts, some people get upset and I’m like, “Look, it’s just a fact. I’m not lying here. It’s not my opinion. See what you said to me was your opinion. I’m talking about facts right now.”