Tyson Fury’s training partner believes Claressa Shields is now an even better boxer and could replicate the success of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather in fighting Amanda Nunes.
Dmitriy Salita, who now promotes Shields, saw his client grow at Jackson Wink MMA before crossing the codes for the first time this weekend.
Shields is one of the most decorated boxers in history, regardless of gender, winning two Olympic gold medals and becoming the first boxer to be the undisputed world champion in two divisions in the era of the four belts.
Yet a lack of financial incentive or credible opposition inside the square circle has forced her out of her comfort zone again and Shields will fight under the banner of the Professional Fighters League this weekend against Brittney Elkins.
To see such a precocious talent abandon the sport she has practiced all her life in pursuit of greatness deserves immense respect. Never before has a boxer made a successful transition to MMA before, with James Toney the most infamous example.
Still, Salita, who trains alongside world heavyweight champion Fury for her trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder, believes the self-proclaimed “GWOAT” (the greatest woman of all time) can transcend the sport entirely. .
Salita, speaking via the MyBettingSites.co.uk blog, said: “She trains in the best MMA gym in the world with some of the greatest UFC fighters of all time; Jon Jones, Holly Holm. She’s learning everyday and is excited to be making her debut this week.
“There is an opportunity there: Claressa versus Amanda Nunes or Kayla Harrison. Claressa v [Amanda] Nunes would be like Mayweather-McGregor. This is something that would be huge and I would love to be a part of it.
“I think we saw in her last boxing match that Claressa became a better boxer thanks to her physical form. The different trainings she has taken make her a better athlete.
“I think continuing to train and staying in shape all year round will only improve his game. It’s something new and something exciting.
“She is a world class combat sports star entering a new phase of her career and I think this is going to take women’s boxing to another level because her story is going to be told on another major platform and i ‘I’m very happy about it. “