The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has added one of the most recognized female boxer’s to their roster. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields signed with the promotion on Monday.
The 25-year old American is a three-division boxing world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Shields, who has won all 10 of her bouts since turning pro after the 2016 Games has chosen to make a mark on the MMA world under the PFL banner.
Claressa Shields joins PFL
“I am thrilled to announce that the PFL has signed Claressa Shields, a two-time Olympic Boxing gold medalist and three-division pro boxing world champion,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the Professional Fighters League. “She has transcended sports and has become a global icon, and an inspiration to aspiring young athletes. Claressa is an incredible human being, a bonafide star athlete, and has an amazing story.”
“Claressa will continue to box professionally as she embarks on her multi-year PFL MMA career. Fans will get to experience her professional MMA debut in 2021, which can be seen across the United States via ESPN, as well as in 160 countries all over the world,” Murray added.
“I want to thank Professional Fighters League and Peter Murray for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity. What drew me to the PFL is that it is definitely a fighter-first organization, and I can’t wait to be a part of that. Since turning pro it has been my goal to be the GWOAT and to be a two-sport star like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders,” said Claressa Shields. “I want to go where no man or woman has gone and hold championships in both boxing and MMA at the same time. The one-two punch of PFL in MMA and Salita Promotions in boxing will allow me to continue to show that there are no limits to what a woman can do. I can’t wait to get to work!”
“We are delighted to enter MMA with the PFL — an innovative, progressive organization with the most compelling format in the industry,” said Shields’ manager, Mark Taffet. “Claressa is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete who has already accomplished in boxing what no man or woman has ever done. She now looks to continue to make history by becoming the first man or woman to hold championships in both boxing and MMA simultaneously. Now, with the PFL in MMA and Salita Promotions in boxing, she will be able to do that on a global stage while continuing to grow her worldwide audience of fans.”
The PFL’s 2021 season begins on April 23, with the Regular Season continuing on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25. The 2021 season features the return of two-time reigning PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison, who is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo.