Dmitry Salita, former fighter turned promoter, has seen his promotion, Salita Promotions, rise over the past decade in part due to his partnership with two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-division undisputed champion Claressa Shields. Now, Salita is calling for Shields to receive her proper recognition following a historic weekend in boxing.

Salita will host the third installment of Big Time Boxing USA on Thursday, headlined by heavyweight Jermaine Franklin fighting Devin Vargas in a 10-round main event at the Wayne State Fieldhouse in Detroit. The event will be broadcast exclusively on DAZN.

Salita expressed frustration that Shields was not mentioned in a recent social media post by an ESPN outlet listing undisputed champions, which included Naoya Inoue, Terence Crawford, and Oleksandr Usyk. 

Usyk recently became a two-division undisputed champion after defeating Tyson Fury.

“I saw a post today on ESPN Knockouts about four-belt undisputed champions – Inoue, Crawford, and Usyk,” Salita told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Claressa Shields was not on that list and she absolutely deserves to be on that list.”

Salita emphasized the importance of recognizing female fighters for their accomplishments. 

“For the purpose of equality and raising up women’s boxing, Claressa and other champions who have the credentials should be included in those conversations,” he said. “If they don’t, it isolates women’s boxing and degrades it, and doesn’t elevate it to where it needs to go.”

Shields’ supremacy in the ring is well-known, making it challenging to find worthy opponents.

“Claressa is a dominant fighter,” Salita said. “She beat Christina Hammer, a dominant middleweight champion. She beat Savannah Marshall, who is a very good fighter, in a very convincing way.”

While Salita did not provide specifics on Shields' next opponent, he confirmed she would return to the ring this summer, likely at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. He also addressed her mixed results in mixed martial arts.

“Claressa always wanted to be a two-sport star,” Salita said. “The fact that Michael Jordan is not a superstar baseball player does not make him any less of a basketball player.”

Salita expressed minimal concerns about Shields being a two-sport athlete, stating, “I just hope she doesn’t get injured, but as an athlete, it made her a better fighter.”