Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith may be headlining the card but 2-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields and alphabet light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev are facing off in Texas.
If you are unfamiliar with Shields’ story, she captivated the Olympics in a true rags to riches story hailing from Flint, MI to become the first American boxer ever to win repeat Olympic gold medals.
Kovalev, who is in town to promote the upcoming pay-per-view title fight against Andre Ward, made it fairly clear he’s not a fan of women in the boxing ring. Following their introduction, and a brief exchange of words on the merits of women’s boxing, Shields spoke to Radio Rahim of SecondsOut TV. While discussing how athletes have to tune out negativity in pursuit to greatness she turned her focus to Kovalev. Shields says during their meeting, Kovalev told her upon introduction women should be at home.
You gotta put your headphones on. You can’t really hear what everybody says to you. Kovalev made a joke, it’s my first time meeting him, and he’s like ‘Women should be at home’ and I’m like ‘Kovalev watch it! ‘
Shields goes on to say,
“He called his self joking but I know Russians believe in that kinda crazy stuff.”
Kovalev goes on in a second interview with Radio Rahim to further emphasize that he is not a fan of women fighting and they should be “at home making the family comfortable.”
Kovalev is entitled to his opinion, as anyone is, but a two-time Olympic GOLD medalist should be given far more respect upon introduction than, ‘women should be at home.’
To see Kovalev’s follow-up interview, flip the page.