Ben Shalom pledges women’s bouts on all cards after Shields and Marshall pack O2
Boxxer CEO Ben Shalom challenged the boxing world to introduce quotas that will see at least ‘one or two’ women’s fights on every single boxing card.
The boxing supremo laid down the gauntlet, after the astounding success of the first all women’s fight card in the United Kingdom, headlined by Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall. Over 19,000 boxing fans at a sold out O2 Arena, watched the self-confessed ‘GWOAT’ of boxing overcome the Brit by an unanimous decision, becoming the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Alycia Baumgardner’s controversial victory over Mikaela Mayer also captured the imagination, and at times, fury of boxing fans, many of whom believing Mayer should have been awarded the victory. And Shalom believes now is the time for other promoters and broadcasters to “think long term” and commit to ensuring there is a women’s bout on every fight card.
READ MORE: Claressa Shields breaks down in floods of tears after becoming undisputed champion
“From a promoter’s point of view, I think what we will do is make sure there is a women’s fight on every single card,” the Boxxer supremo pledged. “Whether there can be quotas, that can be introduced for promoters and broadcasters, because I think that is the only way we can start to see the sport grow even more.
“They need to know those opportunities are there. There are a lot of girls who stay in the amateur game, who don’t want to turn over, because there are perhaps, not those opportunities.
“We always put at least one or two fights on every card. Maybe that is something that can be implemented.” While men’s boxing has been engulfed in controversy and farce in recent weeks, Shields and Marshall’s clash was another highpoint to an extraordinary year for women’s boxing.
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Their historic bout follows the extraordinary scenes of Katie Taylor’s victory over Amanda Serrano in April, which saw them sell out New York's Maddison Square Garden. And while Shalom did admit there was an opportunity to add a men’s heavyweight clash, which would have “made short term money” he chose to think “long term”.
“Even, on longer term decision making, on Saturday night, we could have very easily put men on the card, a heavyweight fight, and turned it into a Pay-Per-View and made short term money,” Shalom added. “But, ultimately, for the women’s sport to grow, the broadcasters and promoters need to think long term.
“And sometimes, at whatever cost, put women’s fights on the cards and show it consistently.”
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