BOXING

Claressa Shields says women’s boxers can be ‘pretty girls’, ‘strippers’ or wear lingerie

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Claressa Shields entrenched herself as the ‘GWOAT’ of women’s boxing at the O2 Arena and the American has told her fellow competitors how they can all grow their own brands

Claressa Shields told all women’s boxers ‘you can be whatever kind of woman you want to be’ even if they were “pretty girls” or “strippers”.

The American is coming off the back of a historic victory over Savannah Marshall in what was the first ever all women’s boxing fight card in the United Kingdom. More than 19,000 fans packed into the O2 Arena to witness the decade long rivals come to blows in what proved to be a sell out affair.

While Marshall vs Shields was the main event, Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner also stunned the boxing world with a ferocious and brutal bout which controversially ended with the latter claiming victory. And Shields believes women’s boxing, as a whole, can grow even more by encouraging all fighters to own and develop their brands, no matter what it is.

“I think that every young girl who is a boxer, whether she is a pro or is an amateur right now, she is building her brand, building her following,” Shields said after her incredible victory. “It makes it a lot easier for networks to want to work with her.

“Okay, if you’ve got 700,000 fans, at least you know that 10% are people that would spend their money. That’s what I have learned over the years. Somebody with a million followers on YouTube, Instagram, at least 10% would come and support, 10% would share, 10% would spread the word of mouth. I think having control of your brand, [means] you can be whatever kind of woman you want to be.

“You can be a pretty girl boxer, if you want to be a stripper and be a boxer, if you want to wear lingerie and be a boxer. Being just a boxer in general does not get you known. You have to be known to have your own fan-base, and to make networks and to make a lot of other people want to work with you, because they know that you have supporters.

Claressa Shields

“So I think to harness this right now, I think all the women that were on the cards, need to keep building themselves up, building a YouTube channel, think outside the box and do different things, not just boxing.”

Last weekend’s fight night proved to be the most watched women’s boxing show in UK history. Over two million viewers tuned into watch the Fight of the Year contender, while viewers across 150 countries across the world also watched or listened to the fight. And Shields believes a huge reason for these incredible viewing figures was the fact she has “allowed people to come and see so deeply into my life”.

“Just show their personalities,” Shields added when asked what other fighters can do to raise their brand and recognition. “I think the fight with me and Savannah Marshall, it was big, it was huge to be honest, but I think that I have allowed people to come and see so deeply into my life, not just the boxing, but the person and the story of my life and who I really am.

“I think that if the women can get more comfortable showing how it is for them at home, their relationships, showing they are human and that they are people, I think that you will be able to captivate more fans and have more people that can relate to you.

“I think that if the women can get more comfortable showing how it is for them at home, their relationships, showing they are human and that they are people, I think that you will be able to captivate more fans and have more people that can relate to you.

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