EXCLUSIVE: Boxing Legend Claressa Shields On Paving The Way For Women's Sports — Without Her Footwork, 'Angel Reese And Caitlin Clark Would Still Be Having To Put In The Work'

Zinger Key Points
  • Claressa Shields is one of the most well-known boxers of all time and helped push for equality in women's sports.
  • Shields told Benzinga she's proud of other women pushing for equality in women's sports.

Legendary boxing star Claressa Shields has helped pave the way for women athletes over the years including helping to set new records in pay.

What Happened: Shields spoke on her successful boxing career and being an ambassador for the growth of women's sports during the Benzinga Sports Business Titans event.

Shields recalled her early success in boxing as one of the first women to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport during an interview with Benzinga.

"I was also the first woman to fight premium cable on Showtime," Shields said.

Shields revealed that she now makes $1 million a fight, but that wasn't always the case. "I've had to fight for it, equal fight time, equal opportunity, equal pay, equal promotion."

She added that she helped pave the way and is glad other female athletes keep fighting. "Now we've seen soccer take a stand for more pay."

Shields said WNBA rookies Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have changed NCAA Women's Basketball.

"I'm so proud of them."

While Reese and Clark could have successful WNBA careers and million dollar endorsements like Clark's new Nike Inc NKE deal, Shields said she's happy they didn't have to go through what she previously went through.

"Without me putting in some of the footwork in women's sports, Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark would still be having to put in the work."

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE: Pro Athletes Illuminate The Path To Successful Businesses, ‘In My Career, I’ve Always Done What No One Else Is Willing To Do’

Why It's Important: Clark made her WNBA debut Tuesday night in a 92-71 loss for the Indiana Fever, who selected her first overall. Clark had 20 points, three assists and two steals in her debut. Clark’s shooting was unusually poor from the field (5-15) and she had 10 turnovers.

Shields is recognized as one of the top boxers of all time, winning two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016) and being a world champion in three weight classes for boxing. Shields is also one of only three boxers (male or female) to hold the four major world titles in two weight classes for boxing.

Shields has a perfect 14-0 professional boxing record, including two by knockout. In mixed-martial arts, Shields has a 2-1 record.

Catch the full interview with Shields below where she also shares advice for 2024 NFL rookies, what the 2024 NFL Draft means for the city of Detroit and why MMA is harder than boxing.

Read Next: Caitlin Clark Will Make $76,000 A Year At The WNBA: Journalist Asks ‘Is This Even A Living Wage?’

Photo by Dustin Blitchok.

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Posted In: SportsEventsTop StoriesExclusivesAfter-Hours CenterAngel ReesebasketballBenzinga Sports Business Titans DraftboxingCaitlin ClarkClaressa ShieldsSports Business TitansStories That MatterWNBA
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