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largely due to a pair of double faults.

Womens boxing has long lived in the shadows of the sport. Ezequiel Garay Argentina Jersey .Its a cycle that begins and ends with television networks, a cycle that stems from a perception that the quality of female talent is thin. Yet, without the ability to sell womens fights on televised cards, the signing and developing of female fighters is rendered an unprofitable business for promoters. The opportunity for women to make a living fighting thus becomes virtually impossible ... and the cycle continues.Im a little embarrassed we havent gotten to it sooner, said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, about the networks plans to put womens fights back on its air. We aim to rectify that very quickly -- and not on a one-off basis but on a meaningful regular basis as well.While Showtime still hasnt promoted a fight since 2001, it plans to do so, and womens boxing will be televised Saturday, when Claressa Shields makes her professional debut on Saturday in a four-round super middleweight bout against Franchon Crews. It will air on ESPN3 on the freeview undercard of Sergey Kovalev and Andre Wards pay-per-view fight on HBO.Coupled with the previous strides made in 2016, it appears that a new era of womens boxing is dawning.Claressa Shields has dubbed this era as the reintroduction to womens boxing. The era took a giant step forward on Aug. 21 when Shields became the first American fighter, male or female, to defend an Olympic gold medal. That same day, Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent became the first women to be featured on a Premier Boxing Champions?nationally televised undercard.Now, that era is primed to move ahead even further.Well aware of her role in what could be the surge needed to finally carry womens boxing from out of the shadows, Shields is preparing to make her professional debut on Saturday.Shields chose to begin her professional career rather than stay an amateur (and have the guarantee of eligibility to return to the Olympics in 2020) in part because of the potential the timing presented. At 21 years old, amid what already feels like a revolution in womens boxing, Shields is primed to take up the baton and carry the sport over the line it has come so close to crossing so many times.I dont want to let this flame burn out that we have right now, Shields said. You have to seize the moment and take advantage of it.Im not doing it for the money. Im doing it for womens boxing.Shields has marinated on this concept of being the change for some time. It was a primary reason behind her decision and a seed that was planted before she won her second gold medal in Rio de Janeiro, when she had a conversation with Hardy about the two fighters mutual hope for the future of their sport and the respect it deserves.The way Hardy understood it, Shields turning pro would send a message: This is what women do. Women fight. Women box.We werent just thinking about each other making millions of dollars; we were thinking about the other women coming up behind us, Shields said.This is a new era, and thats no disrespect to Christy Martin or Lucia Rijker or Laila [Ali]. But the women of this generation are just different. And me? Im one-of-a-kind. You only get one of me every century.New York-born and bred, Hardy used to dream about becoming a Yankee. As a child she would even envision herself running out of the bullpen at Yankee Stadium. She watched every game. She knew every stat. But little girls didnt play baseball.I remember feeling like I was sorry I liked it, she said. I was sorry I was a girl.Later in life, Hardy adopted a new dream: becoming a professional boxer. But as she transitioned out of the amateurs, she was confronted with a harsh reality: Women dont make much money fighting.A bunch of the girls who are pro [told me], Just know this isnt a life for you; this is a hobby because youll never make any money off of it, Hardy said.And 20 years later, I have that same feeling. Im sorry Im a girl.Hardy was the first woman to be signed to a long-term promotional contract with Lou DiBellas company, DiBella Entertainment. DiBella, one of New Yorks premier boxing promoters, has been one of the main actors at the forefront of the current revolution. In addition to Hardy, DiBella has signed deals with other prominent women fighters, including WBO featherweight champion Amanda Serrano and Hardys last opponent, Vincent.While DiBella said he doesnt make money off their fights, the fact that he puts on shows in New York and throughout New England means Hardy and the other female fighters in his stable who are from the area sell enough tickets to cover a good portion of the costs of their bouts. DiBella, who admits he was once hardened to the idea of women in the ring when he was an HBO executive, has said that promoting his female fighters has become a cause for him.I admire their dedication. I admire their spirit to want to bring about change, DiBella said. Id say a number of these women right now are not only out there as fighters; theyre out there as trailblazers, as advocates. Theyre trying to change the status quo, to be agents of change, so that other women coming forward in the sport in the future have an easier road and an opportunity to make a living the same way men do.The difference between the money that male and female fighters can make fighting doesnt necessarily stem from a gap in fight purses -- in fact, according to DiBella, male and female fighters on the same card will generally make similar money for the same level of fight. The difference, then, is the fact that televised fights come with much bigger purses, and without opportunities to fight on televised cards, women simply dont have the option for bigger paydays. As DiBella put it, its a wage ceiling.While male fighters are going after that $100,000 payday -- the $50,000, $150,000 or $1 million payday -- those paydays dont exist for women because television has been closed to them, DiBella said.Female fighters with untelevised bouts thus become more reliant on whatever percentage of ticket sales they get, which can often mean more aggressive promotion of their own fights, spreading the word and hanging up posters to try to sell tickets.Hardy, a single mother, has considered taking MMA fights to help pay the bills, a proposition that recently became even more real when DiBella had to cancel the cards he had scheduled in New York through the end of the year because of a new provision that requires promoters in the state to secure $1 million of insurance per fighter in the event one suffers a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately for Hardy, one of those events DiBella had to cancel was a show at Barclays Center on Dec. 16 that Hardy was supposed to fight on.As much as Id like to discourage her as a promoter from [moving to MMA], Im not going to because she has to do what she has to do to maximize her revenue streams, to take advantage of her popularity and to try to make a living for her and her daughter, DiBella said. I cant fault her for needing a supplemental income.Its worth noting that while DiBella has signed some of the best female talent in the United States, his stable is missing the biggest star in Shields, who told ESPN in September before announcing her pro debut that the only company she wanted to sign with was Oscar De La Hoyas Golden Boy Promotions. However, Shields agent said she has yet to make any decisions regarding a promoter as of this week.DiBellas investment could turn out to be a gamble that pays off if the status quo changes.The current pool of female talent is ripe for a chance at the big time, with fighters on the rise from coast to coast. Even across the pond, where womens boxing is already more prominently televised, 13-year Irish amateur and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor has too decided to turn professional.The skill level and talent base is all there, Espinoza said. Its just a matter of providing the opportunity.Espinoza wants Showtime to provide that opportunity. The five-year executive said that putting female fights back on the networks airwaves has been on its to-do list for some time, and that he hopes to get one on a card in the first quarter of 2017.Espinoza and DiBella have elevated conversations even further, with pretty extensive discussions about the prospect of an all-female card sometime next year. DiBella said that that type of card would ideally feature a Hardy-Vincent rematch, possibly even for a world title, if Hardy ends up fighting for one in March, as DiBella suggested she might.An all-womens card is certainly an ambitious goal, considering it likely would require the cooperation of various promoters, but Espinoza doesnt consider it insurmountable.If we can be the unifying force to bring this aboard, wed be happy to, he saidThe concept of elevating womens presence in combat sports by making opportunities possible isnt new for Showtime. Ronda Rousey fought her final three Strikeforce fights before signing with Dana White and the UFC in 2012, and those bouts aired on Showtime. Other female mixed martial arts stars such as Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg Justino and Miesha Tate also came up through Strikeforce before making the same jump.When you look at the business opportunity, which has been demonstrated in MMA, you cant really argue that the market isnt ready or the audience isnt ready, Espinoza said.The momentum that peaked in August, with Shields Olympic win and Hardy and Vincents televised bout, is palpable and has continued to pick up steam. For women in the sport, its a fight for their livelihood and for equality in the ring, present and future.If my daughter wanted to box, I would never be like, Yeah, you should work for that, Vincent said. Before I wouldve said, No, youre never going to get anywhere. Theyre never going to accept you. Youre never going to make any money.But now I would say there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.That light is primed to grow brighter again on Saturday, when Shields steps into the ring at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.Just tell everybody this is the reintroduction to womens boxing, Shields said. Thank me later. Angel Di Maria Jersey . Reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland opened with a 12-2 rout of Winnipegs Jennifer Jones in a battle of teams bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Lucas Biglia Jersey . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. http:///...Copa-America-Jersey/ . After Martin Skrtel put the Reds in front from close range at Stamford Bridge after only four minutes, Hazard hit back in the 17th with a superb strike. Etoo gave Jose Mourinhos team a decisive lead from Oscars back pass in the 34th.Novak Djokovic maintained his 100 per cent record at this year’s ATP World Tour Finals by beating David Goffin in his final match of the group stage. Having already dispatched Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic, Djokovic made it three wins from three with a 6-1 6-2 triumph over the world No 11, who was playing as a replacement for the injured Gael Monfils.The result means Djokovic remains on course to regain the world No 1 ranking from Andy Murray - he needs to win all five matches this week to do so - and has now won 21 of his last 22 outings at the season-ending championships. Shot of the matchIt didnt have a bearing on the result, but Goffins deft lob in the fifth game of the first set was pure class. Djokovic gave David Goffin a thumbs up after this excellent lob Djokovics reactionI felt the most comfortable today from all the three matches I have played. I felt I increased the level and quality of tennis, so thats a good sign. Its not easy for him to come out. He came here and practiced for the last couple of days, he didnt play his best tennis, but I wish him all the best and he is a great player. Djokovic gives his reaction to beating Goffin Expert analysisGreg Rusedski: Goffin really doesnt have anything to hurt Djokovic; thats the problem. Djokovic does everything that much better than Goffin, so this was perfect. One hour and 10 minutes on court, tops the group, 3-0, and an extra 200 points, so what more do you want? It has been a perfect group for Novak Djokovic and he is coming into form at the right time. It will be very interesting to see how he plays in the semis.Leif Shiras: Novak was able to outmaneuver his man, who didnt really have enough in him today to figure out a response. You have to problem-solve against Novak constantly. When Djokovic plays with that kind of pace, the conviction, the accuracy, all those good things, he becomes a very difficult out. Djokovic speaks to Mark Petchey at the SkyPad The matchGoffin made a hesitant start and although he held his first service game, he was broken in his second largely due to a pair of double faults. Gonzalo Higuain Argentina Jersey. Match stats Djokovic Goffin Aces 3 1 Double faults 4 4 First serve in % 61 47 First serve pts won % 83 59 Second serve pts won % 36 36 Winners 7 11 Unforced errors 17 21 Net points won 7/11 1/2 Break points won 4/6 0/1 Djokovic was then penalised for a time violation and briefly argued with the umpire, but he did not let it affect his focus and broke Goffin for the second time on the way to winning the first set in 35 minutes.Djokovic also made a flying start to the second set by breaking a below-par Goffin in the third game, and although he didnt manage to break the Belgian again, he still completed a routine win to the loss of just three games.Watch every day of the ATP World Tour Finals, from November 13-20, live on Sky Sports. Full schedule here. Six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports to watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Saturday and get the first six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports now to watch Man Utd v Arsenal this Saturday and get the first six months half price! 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