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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Alex Pattle

Claressa Shields reacts to leaked sparring footage of male boxer dropping her

@arturkah via Instagram

Claressa Shields has claimed that one of her male sparring partners removed padding from his gloves in 2018, after Arturs Ahmetovs released footage last week that showed him knocking down the American.

Ahmetovs took to Instagram on Wednesday (6 December) to share a clip of a past sparring session with Shields, who has held world titles in multiple weight classes, combining the footage with a video of the 28-year-old recounting the incident.

“The guy I sparred, he was like a little Russian [Latvian] hater,” Shields says in the video. “He took the padding of his gloves out. I had whooped his a** on a Monday, and his coach wanted to spar again on Thursday. He caught me, but he didn’t have no padding in his gloves. He knows exactly who he is.”

Ahmetovs wrote alongside his Instagram video, “It’s nice that you remember me @claressashields,” before his coach Derik Santos commented: “She is full of s***, they asked for help to spar, why would we want to spar a women [sic]?

“No one took padding out of the gloves. After she was accusing of this, the gloves were handed to her coach. But more importantly she sparred 2 rounds prior where [...] artur was instructed not to hit her hard, while he was working with her she started talking mad s*** at him and fouling him to [the] point she tripped him.

“In the break he said what [...] is going on here, we are trying to help she is a women [sic]. What was replied was ‘well punch her back, she is a big girl, multi time champ.’ He even tried to help her up, nobody wanted that to happen.

“This also happened years ago and obviously the video was kept never seen. Even through all the comments of ‘she would beat a guy,’ nothing was said derogatory towards her or spoken [about] this moment. That was done out of respect for her and nothing to be gained out of what happens in a sparring. Now she went to talking and he posted it.

“Now this is going to go around. Was it him? Or did she do it to herself? Years now. Even her coach said ‘you had your chin up and got caught.’”

Shields, a two-weight undisputed champion, responded on X – formerly Twitter – on Sunday (10 December): “One thing for sure, if I went public 2018 about how this fellow professional boxer & boxing trainer took his padding out his gloves to [spar] against me because I embarrassed him earlier that week, it would have jeopardized my upcoming world title fight.

“I’ve never been Ko’d in 17 years and I’ve been dropped 2x all in a week of each other. I have no shame in that. But for a male fighter to literally take the padding out his gloves, he’s a punk. Him and coach [Derik] santos are bad for the sport!

“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want my opponent to have information of me getting dropped leading up to my fight. But why keep a video hidden for 5 years [...] F*** outta here.

“I have no problem getting caught in sparring it happens and I [spar] majority Men! But this dude [Arturs] and his coach [Derik] santos were embarrassed and next time we sparred he purposely wore gloves with no little to no padding, I can’t make this up. I couldn’t believe it.”

Shields, who has also fought in mixed martial arts, boxed four times in 2018, winning each time; the American beat Tori Nelson, Hanna Gabriels, Hannah Rankin and Femke Hermans.

Shields remains unbeaten in the boxing ring, while her MMA record stands at 1-1.

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