The GWOAT debate can be settled in the ring according Claressa Shields.
The American versus Katie Taylor would be by far the biggest fight in female boxing history and regardless of sex one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing at the present time.
Both Olympic gold medal winners are the stand-out operators in an increasingly improving female fight pack and debate often rages as to who is the better.
However, it never appeared as if that arguement could be settled in the ring, meaning picking the greatest of all time has been subjective.
It’s always been suggested weight disparity makes it an impossible clash to make.
‘T-Rex’ has won world titles at super middle, middle and light middle while Taylor is the undisputed lightweight champion and has won a light-welterweight world crown.
The Irish sensation has said she would take the fight at welterweight 147lbs, but it was believed Sheilds couldn’t go that low.
However, two-time Olympic gold medal winner, Shields, who like Taylor worked closely with Billy Walsh in her amateur career, has said she could and would do 147lbs to make what would be a super fight.
“I would go to 147lbs for a fight with Katie Taylor,” Shields said.
“I was willing to go to 147 for a fight against Cecilia Braekhus and I will still go to 147 to fight Jessica McCaskill,” she adds before all but putting terms on the table.
“But my thing is, if you want me to come to 147 you have to pay me to come to 147. My highest purse is $350k, so to go down to that weight, I haven’t been 147 since I was 16-years-old, so I would like to be paid the right way, and given a fair shot.
“I think a lot of these fighters want me to come to 147 and not rehydrate, but that’s not good for any fighter. I think a fight between me and her, me not rehydrating back up to 160 is fair, because she is coming up from a smaller weight class. But don’t say I can’t rehydrate past 150lbs, that’s unfair.
“Somewhere from 154-158 would be fair.”
The 25-year-old is serious about moving down the scales and had been prepared to do so to fight ‘The First Lady’ Braekhus, a fighter Taylor will fight in the summer if the Norwegian avenges her sole defeat to Jessica McCaskill this spring.
“I had discussions with Cecilia Braekhus and her team but they want no parts of me. They were saying, ‘yeah we’ll fight at 147 but you can’t rehydrate past 150lbs.’ ‘I was like, ‘are y’all crazy?”’ For one, I would still whoop her ass if that happened, but I care about how I perform and displaying my best skill set in every fight.
“I’m not going to go in there looking all tired and sluggish. I’ll still win, but I want to be able to watch my film and think, ‘I did great’.”
With her desire to be involved in big fights and groundbreaking events, Taylor will most definitely be interested, but it’s a fight Shields needs more.
The outspoken talent hasn’t got the list of nemesis the five-time amateur world champion has in and around lightweight. Thus there is less interest in her bouts, she is paid less and she isn’t afforded the same opportunities to show a full array of skills. Trailblazer Taylor on the other hand has had the fights that enabled her to show she Pound for Pound #1.
While Taylor could have massive fights with the likes of Amanda Serrano, Braekhus, Jessica McCaskill, Chantelle Cameron, Natasha Jonas, and more, fellow superstar Shields has explored the MMA route for a challenge and payday.
However, while she may need the Brian Peters-managed fighter for a career high purse she doesn’t believe she needs to beat Taylor to prove she is the GOAT.
“To me, there is no debate, to be honest. I feel like that is me, period,” Shields told Metro.co.uk.
“I have a lot of respect for Katie Taylor and I feel like it really depends what you like inside the ring. Do you like somebody that moves around and you like people to have competitive fights?
“Kind of like the fight between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon. You will never see me in a fight that close. But I think some people look at that as a plus and it makes them like a fighter more. ‘Oh, she got in a war, she won close fights’.”
“Then you watch me go in there with some of the best fighters and I make them look average and even though you can say, ‘I’m the better fighter,’ but people like to know that fighters have vulnerabilities and I haven’t shown any vulnerabilities except the fight against [Hanna] Gabriels.
“She knocked me down in the first round but when I got back up it was all hell to pay for her and I won a unanimous decision. I think in terms of skills and everything we can do inside the ring that I’m definitely the pound-for-pound greatest woman of all time. But those who say, Katie Taylor, I don’t get mad, I disagree, but that’s just their flavour.”