Laila Ali hasn’t fought for well over a decade and has since moved into other arenas as a businesswoman, wife, and mother, but it appears she might be ready to lace them up again. Ali has been noticing the chatter around current light and middleweight champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields and said she’ll get back in the ring but only for the right number.
Sitting down with ESPN’s First Take crew, Ali, the daughter of the late, great Muhammad Ali, joined the panel as they discussed the upcoming fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Ali wisely observed that the highly anticipated match is breathing new life into the heavyweight division in men’s boxing while also sharing her insights on the women’s side of the sport.
Stephen A. Smith didn’t let Ali leave the segment without mentioning the possibility of her returning to the ring, and she understood where the host was going with the prodding. Essentially, Ali has heard the challenges from the 10-0 Shields, who is 24 while Ali is 42, and much bigger and taller than the young but talented upstart and Olympic gold medalist.
Ali said that if the purse is hefty enough that she’ll consider the fight plus she wants to silence the barking Shields has been doing for months now. Shields, having seen the segment after it started to go viral, took to Twitter and said that the money is there so now it’s time to put up or shut up. If it does come to fruition, this could have all the makings of a super fight for the ages.
Your move, Laila Ali.
Check out Ali considering the Shields challenge below. Hop to the 6:00-minute mark to hear that portion of the chat.
Laila Ali said she hasn’t fought in 13 years, but she’ll knock a bitch out for the right price! And she was not playin!!!! 24-0 and 21 knockouts! Shiiiitttttt.....— Keyara🔮 (@heLUVZkeke) February 21, 2020
Do I like boxing? No. Would I watch Clarissa Shields v Laila Ali? Hell yeah... pic.twitter.com/CqXJtCoNFG— J. Sam, B.A. (@TheeJSam) February 21, 2020
Laila Ali just said if the BAG right she’ll come out of retirement and fight Clarissa Shields.....— BIG FI$H (@DoIt4Shaq) February 21, 2020
Laila Ali said lets cut the small talk show me the bag and I'll come out of retirement.....fight party at my spot when it go down! pic.twitter.com/AhFtk3XNek— It's the shoes (@carlton_banks5) February 21, 2020
Bruh if Laila Ali comes outta retirement, I’m buying that fight. She on First Take and she CLEARLY wants ALL the smoke with Clarissa Shields. Got me at the office hyped for a hypothetical fight bro— Breezie (@JAG_ninetyfive) February 21, 2020
Laila Ali basically said: Since homegirl keeps calling me out & no female boxer has ever made a million. I'll come out of retirement if the bag is right, just to knock a bitch head off.— Dora Milaje. (@KingLetty_) February 21, 2020
Laila Ali is saying she'll come out of retirement to face @Claressashields and it only comes down to the money. Oh boy...— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) February 21, 2020
Sexism is claiming that Laila Ali has no chance because she’s 42 but gladly hyped up Floyd (and will again) who is the exact same age. pic.twitter.com/GsVSogZ80b— Madame Common Sense (@CulturallyAlive) February 21, 2020
Laila Ali talking about coming outta retirement to whoop some more ass for the right bag? pic.twitter.com/KElxv8MPrI— Deremiah aka Doomsday (@BigDmilz) February 21, 2020
All I'm saying is Laila Ali stayed retired as hell when Ann Wolfe was in the ring making opponents question their life choices pic.twitter.com/C0vGQ1Btci— Tamika J. Spaulding (@tjmadeafunny) February 21, 2020