Recently there has been a lot of talk back and forth between American female boxing stars Claressa Shields and Laila Ali.
The latter (daughter of Muhammad Ali) of which has been retired from the sport for some time.
The former, Shields, is currently in the middle of what has so far been an impressive pro career.
A professional tenure proceeded by a stellar amateur one that has saw her win two Olympic gold medals for the USA.
It appears that there could be some legs to a possible showdown between the two American women after words exchanged in the media.
Speaking to EsNews YouTube (hat tip) from 3 minutes 25 seconds here — Shields had the following to say:
I’d suggest a fight could be good for a number of reasons but would Ali be interested?
She’s had a lot of success outside of boxing in recent years since retiring undefeated as a pro.
Moreover, this is what she’s up to lately on her huge Facebook page — respectfully — she’s looking pretty good at 42:
A serious American woman in fairness.
To get her back in a pro boxing ring won’t be cheap.
At the end of the day she’s Muhammad Ali’s daughter and has had success outside of boxing now.
It would cost a few bucks to get her back in the ring obviously.
That said, a move that could carry a lot of merit both in the interim and the long-term for women’s boxing in my humble opinion.
Perhaps for the entire sport as a whole too from a bigger picture perspective.
Years ago maybe the standard of women’s boxing wasn’t the best.
In particular the matchmaking and the way it was presented and marketed.
You can’t stay mad at those bums who were involved in marketing it back in the day though.
Forgive them, they did not know what they were doing.
Maybe they tampered with women’s boxing as a brand a bit by putting on non-competitive fights back in the day.
Indeed, forgiveness is important in life as it is in sports and business.
From my own perspective I can say first hand the power of forgiving and what it can do for someone is quite incredible.
After years of depression, hurting myself, abusing my body and mind, self-sabotage and self-destruction, I no longer bother with those things anymore.
In hindsight, I turned the pain on myself looking back on it all.
Life is too short anyway.
Love, light and living life conquers all and is stronger than anything ultimately.
In terms of the past and forgiveness, forgiving doesn’t mean you have to deal with chumps that betrayed or low level bums who done you wrong.
Or even let them know about it.
It’s just to help you. No one else. It’s magic really.
Perhaps the perception of women’s boxing back in the day needs to be still forgiven by some lingering detractors of women’s boxing today.
They need to move on from how it was in the past.
It has grown incrementally in recent years for a reason.
There’s been some great fights first off.
Furthermore, there’s been much better network work involved in promoting it and some great work by promoters like Hearn, Warren and Loeffler off the top of my head.
That said, the growth has been steady and still needs that push with something big to help it along.
That something rather unique to drive it forward.
Something to allow the still lingering bad taste in the mouth and perception of it (from a small few) from years ago.
A time back then when the standard perhaps wasn’t the best and once again – the amateurish way it was presented previously.
The past is only useful if you can learn from it after all. Everyone makes mistakes but it is in the learning from them what counts.
In the end.
Let us forgive that time and those involved back then in what they tried to incorrectly do to build women’s boxing as a sport.
Things are far different today anyway.
The standard of fighters like Katie Taylor, Cecilia Brækhus, the Serrano sisters, Heather Hardy, Claressa Shields, Shannon Courtenay, Savannah Marshall, Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas, Christina Hammer and many, many others testament to that.
All A-level fighters in their own way.
While there might have only been a handful of top tier female boxers years ago like Laila Ali, Jane Couch, Ann Wolfe, Christy Martin who were facing B and C level fighters in one-sided bouts.
That era also existed in a different time period for female sports as an entertainment industry.
Nowadays female sports stars have more fame and success like tennis player Serena Williams and UFC star Ronda Rousey.
Also female UFC fighters such as Holly Holm, Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, Rose Namajunas and of course the very beautiful Polish female fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Today’s a different time for women’s boxing in the sports conversation as a whole therefore.
If women’s boxing really wants to get back as a sport to get the attention of casual sports fans in America an Ali vs Shields fight would fit nicely.
A fight between Ali and Shields not only would help women’s boxing but I’d suggest it would help the entire sport too.
Boxing is doing well at the moment in terms of its gradual return to the interest of the masses.
Riding the wave of the success of female fighters in the UFC could be advantageous for boxing’s brand concurrently.
In a period where boxing tries to get more mainstream networks’ unilateral, ubiquitous attention, respect and ultimately dollars as a sport.
You can’t fight the tide and female fight sports are doing well in popularity at the moment.
It only makes sense for boxing to do this fight and I would suggest it will further help the image of boxing overall as an entire sport.
Everything effects everything in markets.
Look at the current situation in the world today.
A guy wakes up in China says something and bang markets go tumbling.
Elon Musk tweets something and wipes billions off the value of his own shares shooting himself in the foot.
While it might seem complicated it’s really not. Business is easy to be honest.
Without getting into it too much, just give people want they want at a negotiated fair price and they’ll buy it.
Or visa versa agree on a price that you think is fair and negotiate to one that is agreeable.
Repeat the process time and time again and they’ll come back as happy customers.
People buy from people both in a B2B and B2C business context.
A fight between Ali and Shields would have sufficient demand to have positive implications both for women’s boxing and the entire sport.
Thus affecting the macro economic stability of the boxing product and also helping alleviate the previous short-term going out of business, event by event-driven mentality on the operations side.
A cost effective long-term investment into the boxing brand’s perception if you will.
While still being profitable in the interim of course.
If it is given the appropriate capitalization with team creativity and engineering in its promotion I’d suggest it could be a huge event.
One that could grow women’s boxing and help the overall sport’s gradual return to mainstream media.
The story line alone would have a multitude of components at its disposal.
All in all, something that we’ll likely hear more about during a quiet time for boxing with the current world situation.
To world boxing readers – keep washing the ole hands folks.
Keep the distance and keep doing the recommended things as well as helping one another out best you can.
Boxing will be back sooner than you might think.
Don’t you worry about that.
When it does we go again as they say.
Have no fear during this dark time for the world at the moment. It will pass. God is good.
As for boxing — we should have news soon of some pro boxing in Poland to look forward to in June by all accounts.
I always liked the Polish but even more so now.
While the world is in a dark place due to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to stay safe folks.
To all world boxing readers, continue to stay safe, do the recommended things and help one another out as best you can.
As a tourist stuck in Italy for sometime at the moment while travelling during the Coronavirus, I understand that things are hard for many people at the moment.
Don’t worry it will pass.
Keep the faith.