By Keith Idec
Claressa Shields has had it with Sergey Kovalev’s chauvinistic comments.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist responded angrily on Twitter on Monday to a recent BoxingScene.com story in which Kovalev said Andre Ward wouldn’t be able to knock him out in their rematch because “he slaps like a woman with his punches.” Kovalev made his remarks in response to suggestions by James Prince, Ward’s manager, and Virgil Hunter, Ward’s trainer, that Ward would knock out Kovalev in their upcoming rematch.
Shields previously has taken exception to Kovalev’s contention that women shouldn’t box because they “belong at home.” Kovalev clarified later that he wishes Shields well with her career, yet reiterated that he doesn’t like watching women box and thinks they shouldn’t compete in this dangerous sport.
Shields sent out this Tweet on Monday in response to Kovalev’s recent comments: This bastard just keeps disrespecting women fighters! Well for one, I don’t slap! Can’t wait for Ward to kick your ass again! #soreloser!
Shields referred to the Ward-Kovalev rematch June 17 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View). Kovalev made the politically incorrect comments that offended Shields during the first stop on a three-day, three-city press tour last week that took him and Ward to New York, Oakland and Los Angeles.
Here is a link to the story in which Kovalev made the comments that annoyed Shields: https://www.boxingscene.com/kovalev-ward-t-ko-me-he-slaps-like-woman-he-punches--115496
Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), who won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, defeated Russia’s Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) by unanimous decision in their November 19 bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Though Ward won by the same score on the cards of all three judges (114-113), the outcome of their 12-round light heavyweight title fight was considered controversial.
The profile picture on Shields’ Twitter page is one of her posed alongside Ward at a boxing gym.
The 22-year-old Shields, of Flint, Michigan, won middleweight gold medals while representing the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Before she won in London, an American hadn’t taken home a gold medal in boxing since Ward eight years earlier.
Shields is 2-0 (1 KOs) as a pro. She made her pro debut on the Ward-Kovalev undercard November 19, when she beat Baltimore’s Franchon Crews by unanimous decision in a four-round, super middleweight match.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.