Laila Ali had some things to say during a radio interview on "The Breakfast Club," hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God. She talked about a lot of things -- it was a 36-minute interview -- but right in the middle, there were some words about Ronda Rousey and a little something about Claressa Shields.
Let's talk about Rousey first. Here's what was said.
Charlemagne Tha God (CTG): Why didn't they label you the baddest woman on the planet like they did Ronda Rousey? Different sports or...?
Laila Ali: You might be able to think of a couple reasons for that.
Ali: Possibly. I think it's known now that it's a little easier when you have a certain color skin. But you have to think, I'm Muhammad Ali's daughter -- people called me pretty. Saying that I had everything that it takes, but I still wasn't able to get to a certain level just for certain reasons.
Ali went on to say some additional things about Rousey, most notably this: "Ronda Rousey was a very good fighter, and I never took anything away from her, but she had some flaws. To just get 100 percent taken advantage of in a ring and just look like a little rag doll in the ring, that would never happen to me."
Ali also (maybe?) took a swipe at two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields.
So everybody was texting and tweeting me about @TheRealLailaAli giving me a shoutout on @breakfastclubam so I decided to go and give it a listen ! And honestly to me it was some disrespect, and shade, and my thing is it only takes a phone call to rumble...— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) January 24, 2018
What did Ali say that Shields found so objectionable? After saying there's nobody around to challenge her if she decided to make a comeback, Ali went here:
"You got Claressa Shields now who is an Olympic champion. She's a young, black girl came out of Flint, Michigan; lived a hard life, went through a lot; she went to the Olympics; won twice. Women's boxing wasn't in the Olympics, when I fought. She actually fights in the weight class I fought in. And she's doing great. It's still not what I would have wanted. I would have wanted more because I have a big picture in my mind, but for her, that's great. I think that women's boxing is getting some good attention, so it's wonderful."
Ali might not have meant it this way, but I have a sneaking suspicion the "Good for you, but I would have wanted more" sentiment isn't playing too well with Shields. Not sure it's worth the fight that Shields implied (though how amazing would Ali vs. Shields have been when Ali was in her prime? Bring your hot takes to me on Twitter), but it might not have been the flattery Ali was aiming for. Or, maybe, Ali was being shady on purpose. Who knows these days? She definitely is unimpressed with Rousey though. Rag doll? Ouch.
You can watch the full interview below. Skip to minute 19-ish to check my transcription work.