Claressa Shields: “Laila Ali? Next Question.”

Claressa Shields: Next Question

Claressa Shields (left), Laila Ali
Claressa Shields (left), Laila Ali

Claressa Shields: Next Question

At one point in time, current undisputed middleweight Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (10-0, 2 KO’s) and former super middleweight champion Laila “She Bee Stingin” Ali (24-0, 21 KO’s) shared a peaceful relationship. Each has admitted that they had met, exchanged contact info and would interact with one another here and there.

Well that was until Ali went on the Breakfast Club and stated that that she could easily defeat any of the current female boxers despite having been retired for roughly 13 years. Clearly, this set off Shields and the two have engaged in a fiery war of words ever since. Eventually, the back and forth trash talk and mud-slinging morphed into conversations about the two staging a potential fight.


In order to be enticed enough to jump back in her fighting trunks and gloves however, Ali stated that she would require at least a hefty five million dollar payday. Upon hearing this juicy sum of money, most thought that she was pricing herself out of the fight. Her intentions were doubted because there has yet to be a female boxer paid even 1 million dollars. So asking for five times that never-before reached pinnacle, while coming off a decade plus layoff, did sound dubious.

While the story could have easily stopped there, it was apparent that Team Shields was dedicated to calling Ali’s bluff. After being turned loose to find the funds, Shields’ promoter and former fighter, Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions, set out and found a party willing to foot the bill. Going a step further, the financial backer was willing to put up five million for the loser and ten million for the winner. However, in spite of the money being located, Laila Ali has yet to move forward with the fight.

“I even told my manager like look, tell the investors that the winner gets seven and the loser gets five just to keep her five million there because I want the fight to happen…so it’s like with her I don’t know. Like, I want the fight to happen, she says she want it but I don’t believe her because if she did she wouldn’t be talking like this.”


Considering that Ali has essentially ceased talking about making a comeback in any serious manner, Shields is convinced that Ali would rather lick random hospital door handles than mix it up with her in the squared circle. In fact, while conducting an exclusive interview with Fight Hype, Shields revealed that she is very close to putting the fight in her rearview mirror regardless of what Ali says or does.

“I will tell you this, after this year, after 2020 is over, when its 2021, if we don’t have something written on paper, our signatures and an investor, if we don’t have all that figured out by 2021, whenever her name is mentioned to me I will say to anybody who ask me about it ‘next question.’”

Given that it’s almost April now and its being speculated that COVID-19 will continue to keep the world on lockdown for the next several months, most of 2020 will not even be available if all parties were in sync. With this being the case, provided that T-Rex remains true to her word, there is very little likelihood that this potential mega-fight will ever transpire.

“Her word is not golden in women’s boxing and that’s just from promoters to whoever has worked with her. Her word is not golden. I guess the fight with her and Ann Wolfe was supposedly setup but for some reason it didn’t happen. Like I said, I don’t know the inside of it but I know some.”

By: Bakari Simpson

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