Boxing

Claressa Shields hoping to juggle boxing, MMA at identical time, supervisor says

The potential transfer for girls’s boxing champion Claressa Shields to blended martial arts is “100 p.c actual,” her supervisor, Mark Taffet, informed ESPN on Thursday — though he additionally made clear such a transfer would not imply the three-weight-class champion would quit boxing.

As a substitute, he mentioned, they’ve visions of with the ability to compete in each sports activities concurrently, with the attainable objective of getting within the cage by the tip of the 12 months.

“There hasn’t been a dialog about shifting full-time,” Taffet mentioned. “It is all been a dialogue about being the following nice two-sport athlete.”

The 24-year-old Shields made historical past Friday when she beat Ivana Habazin in an unanimous choice to win the WBC and WBO mild middleweight titles in her 10th combat, making her the quickest three-weight world champion in boxing historical past. Along with her mild middleweight titles, she is the undisputed middleweight title holder.

Now she’s wanting so as to add blended martial arts to her resume, though it’s nonetheless to start with of a course of. She has educated up to now with MMA stars Cris Cyborg and Kayla Harrison and has a visit deliberate to work with UFC mild heavyweight champion Jon Jones scheduled for February.

“She acquired her ft moist athletically, her toe within the water athletically,” Taffet mentioned. “The subsequent step for us can be to have a look at a number of completely different trainers and coaches and communicate to them after which determine who an applicable coach and coach can be after which make a plan for her to start coaching whereas she continues to blaze trails in boxing.”

Taffet mentioned her subsequent boxing match has but to be determined. As for MMA, he mentioned he is spoken with all 4 main promotions: UFC, Bellator, PFL and ONE Championship about probably signing Shields. Every, he mentioned, has their very own execs and disadvantages.

UFC would not have a 155-pound weight class for the time being — however does have the potential for a combat with Amanda Nunes, presently the most important feminine identify in MMA. Bellator has Cyborg and Taffet mentioned the promotion is “starting to have a look at among the increased weight courses.” PFL has a 155-pound class already – with a present champ in Harrison — and ONE, Taffet mentioned, “would accommodate something, each in boxing and MMA as a result of their perception is that each martial artwork is legitimate as a mixture of blended martial arts.”

Shields informed ESPN final 12 months, in preparation for her combat with Christina Hammer, that she did not see herself within the Octagon except she educated and discovered for a 12 months, “simply the stuff that I do not know like jiu-jitsu and kicking and all that stuff if I needed to contemplate it.” On the time, she brushed it off, however now it looks like it’s extra of a believable chance.

“Claressa would not put timetables on it as a result of she is rigorously and rigorously investigating all features of the game and the organizations,” Taffet mentioned. “However we want to do one thing within the cage on the finish of 2020 or absolutely inside 12 months.”

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