Claressa Shields claims one of her male sparring partners removed the padding from his gloves after a video of the undisputed middleweight world champion getting dropped in a gym in Miami got leaked online. Latvian super-lightweight boxer Arturs Ahmetovs has been put on blast for uploading the clip from 2018 onto his Instagram.
The 6-1 pro merged the footage with a snippet from one of Shields’ interviews where she recounted the incident. “The guy I sparred, he was like a little Russian [Latvian] hater,” she said.
“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 captioned the post: “It’s nice that you remember me @claressashields. If you think that I dishonored you, as an honest person I’m ready to merry.”
UFC welterweight Geoff Neal was among those who bashed Ahmetovs for ‘bragging’ about knocking down a woman. “Lol you really flexing on dropping a female? Lame af,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, former opponent, Rolly Romero, who stopped Ahmetovs in the second round when they fought each other back in 2020, tweeted: “I’m happy I koed this mf, shouldn’t be putting his hands on women like that.”
However, Ahmetovs’ trainer Derik Santos denies ever taking the padding out his fighter’s gloves. “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,” he commented.
“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.’”
But Shields doubled down on her allegations, taking to social media to write: “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 didn’t say anything because I didn’t want my opponent to have information of me getting dropped leading up to my fight,” she added in a later tweet. “But why keep a video hidden for 5 years […] F*** outta here.”