Shields to be first female boxer to headline on Showtime
February 9, 2017
USA Today reports that Claressa Shields will be the first female boxer to headline an event on premium network television as she will be the main feature on Showtime’s ShoBox series on March 10th.
Shields was featured in the WSJ last November where they drew comparisons to her and boxing as Ronda Rousey was to women’s MMA. She made her pro debut on the undercard of Kovalev-Ward and is thrust into the spotlight in March.
She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Due to her Olympic success, she earned a $40,000 a year stipend from USA Boxing along with her own room at the training center in Colorado Springs. She also receives meals, training and health insurance.
Turning pro is a gamble considering women boxers make little. However, her pedigree meant that she earned $50,000 in her first pro fight.
She meets Szilvia Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) in the main event from Detroit next month.
This was a calculated gamble by Shields and her management team. Women’s boxing does not receive the publicity as women’s MMA. Notably, two women headline this Saturday’s UFC PPV. Shields looks to be the new face of women’s boxing. Certainly, she is getting paid better than most women MMA fighters. But her pay is not the norm for women’s boxers. For Showtime, which usually lags behind HBO in boxing ratings, Shields may bring much-needed interest for its ratings.