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Intergender pro boxing? The most likely scenario if Keith Thurman faces Claressa Shields?

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - August 25, 2023

Is a potential intergender boxing match in the works?

Women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields (14-0, 2 KO) wants to fight former two-title welterweight champion Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KO). Shields initially called out Thurman for the match, and he accepted, proposing handicaps such as using only his jab, wearing bigger gloves, and allowing Shields to wear headgear, all for charity.

“We can let you try to showcase your skills,” Thurman said. “I’d probably use my jab only… For charity I’d make that happen. I would wear bigger gloves, I would let her wear smaller gloves. I would let her wear headgear too. I don’t really wanna punch a girl in the face.”

But Shields finds Thurman’s confidence amusing and asserts that she would be willing to fight him without any handicaps, using both hands.

“Keith said he could beat me with one hand and he could wear bigger gloves and I could wear headgear? I’m like ‘dude, stop’. The guy walks around at 154lb, you’re not that good of a boxer, you’re not a world champ, just tread lightly because I will get in there and I will fight him with both hands.”

Is she serious?

Perhaps this is a marketing ploy to boost her name?

“He said he wanted to do it for charity but who knows?” Shields added. “All these guys talk but when you throw the contracts at them and they get to mentioning money, these guys zip it.”

But, wait. Would a state commission approve of a male vs. female boxing match?

Maybe, just maybe in an exhibition. But if Shields got in the least bit of trouble, don’t be surprised if the referee stepped in early.

The most likely scenario if Thurman vs. Shields happens: Should they fight, it would be an exhibition and Thurman would go easy on his female foe. He’d prove he could take her best shots and would find a way to convince Shields, without unleashing a lot of hurt, that she doesn’t belong in the same ring.

That stated, given her attitude and verbal aggression towards Thurman, some of us wouldn’t mind if he wasted her with a crippling body shot.

But, thanks to a presumed moment of clarity, Shields now appears to be backing away from her challenge.

“A fight I’m actually interested in is Larissa Pacheco in the PFL,” Shields joked when asked about the Thurman bout by Mirror Fighting in New York yesterday.

“That’s somebody I’m really interested in, I don’t know what it is with these men they have huge ego problems, not just in boxing but in general in life.”

Shields is an awesome fighter who’d undoubtedly own most dudes on the street and perhaps quite a few male amateurs. But, Keith Thurman is an elite professional boxer… and a man.