For the past several days, Laila Ali and Claressa Shields have traded smack talk about a potential fight between the retired heavyweight and the current female boxing champ.
Ali says if the money is right, she will fight.
“It would be my absolute pleasure for the right amount of money to come back” Ali told ESPN‘s First Take.
“We want to see women grow and continue to inspire other people, right? And she has been calling me out, and she has taken offense to some things that I have said in the past that had nothing to do with her. And people have asked me, would you come back? Well, I have to be inspired by the opponent, I have to be inspired by the ‘purse’ because I have multiple things going on and multiple streams of income I don’t need to do it and I have to want to do it.”
Ali has been retired for over a decade, but she tells First Take she has maintained her health and fitness and could get the job done.
Shields said she is ready and willing to fight Muhammad Ali’s daughter, anytime, anywhere, and that she will knock her out if given the opportunity.
“Absolutely. I have no problem with that,” Shields responding when ESPN’s Myron Medcalf asked her if she would fight Ali. “I feel like I’m the greatest woman of all time. I cannot be beat, not by a champion right now, a former world champion, a champion who’s bigger, stronger, faster, whatever you want to say. All these fighters have to prove it to me. And when she gets inside the ring, I have a game plan for everybody who I step in the ring with. And the fact that she’s going to bring out that 100% in me, you’re going to see a whole different Claressa Shields. And it’s going to be a war.”
And Shields, 24, wants Ali to leave the excuses at home.
“Let’s not talk about age. You can’t say in one sentence, ‘Oh, I’m gonna knock Claressa Shields out, I’m a better fighter, I’m gonna come out of retirement and I’m gonna do this, but I’ve been retired 13 years.’ Take the 13 years out of it, or you can’t say, ‘but I’m 42.’ She’s making excuses already. ‘Oh I’ve been retired 13 years. Oh, I’m 42,’” Shields said. “If you really feel like you’re the baddest, you’re either going to come out of retirement and beat me at the age you’re at, or you’re going to leave boxing alone.”
Further, Shields said an unnamed person has already put up $15 million for the two to fight, with $5 million going to the loser and $10 million being paid out to the winner.
Many on social media seemed excited about the prospect of a bout.
Laila Ali said she hasn’t fought in 13 years, but she’ll knock a bitch out for the right price! And she was not playin!!!! 24-0 and 21 knockouts! Shiiiitttttt…..
— BIG MAMA? (@heLUVZkeke) February 21, 2020
“Laila Ali said she hasn’t fought in 13 years, but she’ll knock a bitch out for the right price! And she was not playin!!!! 24-0 and 21 knockouts! Shiiiitttttt,” Big Mama tweeted.
Laila Ali out here talkin shit like her daddy. pic.twitter.com/0kgGAYjR2m
— Izzy OldSoul (@Izzy_OldSoul) February 21, 2020
“Laila Ali out her talkin’ shit like her daddy,” tweeted Izzy OldSoul.
Laila Ali basically said: Since homegirl keeps calling me out & no female boxer has ever made a million. I’ll come out of retirement if the bag is right, just to knock a bitch head off.
— 8:24 (@KingLetty_) February 21, 2020
@KingLetty_ said “Laila Ali basically said: “Since homegirl keeps calling me out & no female boxer has ever made a million. I’ll come out of retirement if the bag is right, just to knock a bitch head off.”
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