By Radio Rahim
This Saturday night in Atlantic City, a major bout in women’s boxing is taking place with undefeated middleweights Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer colliding to unify the entire division with the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC world titles at stake. Showtime will televise.
The fight is going head to head with a loaded night of boxing, with Jaime Munguia facing Dennis Hogan on DAZN, and Caleb Truax colliding with Peter Quillin on Fox Sports 1.
And one night prior, Vasiliy Lomachenko will be taking on mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla on ESPN+.
Eddie Hearn, who promotes several female fighters like unified champion Katie Taylor, explains his position on why Shields vs. Hammer is not as big as it should be.
He believes the fight would be bigger if the contest had a “major promoter” behind it, with a large promotional structure – like Matchroom, Top Rank, Golden Boy or Premier Boxing Champions.
“I think it’s just exposure. Just like with Katie Taylor, you start off in a losing battle where 50% of the people say ‘I like women’s boxing.’ Another 25% go ‘hmm, it’s not for me.’ And another 25% go ‘women, what are they doing even boxing’ – with the old school, sexist mentality,” Hearn explained to BoxingScene.com.
“I tell people, just watch one Katie Taylor fight and you will be a fan. It’s all about spreading the word all over the place, on social media. Watch a 10 second highlight of Katie Taylor and you will say ‘wow, she’s great.’
“Claressa Shields and Hammer, that’s a really good fight and I’m a Claressa Shields fan. I love what she’s about. She wants to fight everyone, she wants to build a legacy. That is a fight that people should be talking about a lot more. But there is no major promoter behind that show. And I’m not even talking about the broadcaster. Dmitry Salita is my friend, but he doesn’t have the promotional platform across social media and across everything to push that as a super-fight. Showtime has tried, but it hasn’t gripped the imagination.”