One of the most impressive female boxers alive today is Claressa Shields. Shields is scheduled to fight Ema Kozin in a middleweight boxing match this weekend. Shields will defend the WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring middleweight titles in that fight.
Claressa Shields has had a beef with the Youtuber-turned boxer Jake Paul for a while now. The conflict is likely caused by the fact that Paul is headlining Showtime Boxing cards whereas Shields – who has a much more impressive resume can’t.
This lead to a number of back and forths between the two in the past.
Shields has been unable to headline her own Showtime boxing event and in desperation resorted to calling out Paul and claiming she would’ve beaten him in boxing.
To this Paul responded with gloating when Shields lost her first MMA fight. But Paul went further and insisted that Shields’ frustration with him originated with the fact that she was unable to either headline her own card or even be on his undercard.
Leaked emails uncovered by USA Today Sports+ show Shields’ team trying to contact Paul’s advisor Nakisa Bidarian.
“USA Today Sports+ reviewed a pair of emails sent last year to Paul’s promoter by Shields’ manager, Mark Taffet, and her promoter, Dmitry Salita. “
In a March 15th email to Bidarian, Taffet (Shields’ manager) wrote:
“Claressa had a historic win … to become the first man or woman in the four-belt era to win an undisputed world title in two weight divisions. We are now beginning a plan for our next few fights, and would love to discuss out plan with you to see if Triller is interested in being the video platform of the world’s greatest female fighter. We would love to participate on your April 17 card if you have a slot available.”
During the press conference to promote her upcoming fight, Claressa Shields denied being aware of the emails.
“First of all, this isn’t about Jake Paul. This is about Claressa Shields and Ema Kozin,” said Claressa Shields.
“As it was said, I don’t email about this stuff. I have a manager and I have a promoter, their job is to make opportunities for me. What you need to know is I was supposed to be on a Mike Tyson and Roy Jones undercard, not ever under Jake Paul. Let’s get that clear. I don’t know what the emails said, and I really don’t care, but we’re not going to talk about that and give him the shine of this press conference,” added Shields.
“This is about me, this is about Ema, this is about world titles, this is about elite boxers,” Shields later added. “I’m just going to leave that there. Dmitry [her promoter, who was on the call] doesn’t even need to speak on it, managers do their job, promoters do their job and fighters train to get ready for our fights.”
Shields is undefeated in her professional boxing career and has fought 11 times. The same goes for Ema Kozin who has a record consisting of 21 wins and 1 draw.
Shields’ claims don’t line up with reality. The leaked email shows the date April 17th 2021 – this was the Triller card during which Jake Paul fought Ben Askren. Tyson and Jones were to fight on October 20th 2020 initially – the date was later moved to November 2020. Considering the emails were sent last year – it would be highly unlikely they’re related to the Mike Tyson 2020 fight.
Back when the emails first leaked Shields responded she had no idea Taffet ever requested for her to fight on a Paul card.
“I was never, ever supposed to fight on an undercard of Jake Paul. I don’t care what the email says,” Shields said. “I would never do that, no matter how much they’re paying me. And everything has to go through me.”
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.