Claressa Shields signs with PFL as women’s boxing champion makes transition to MMA

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PFL

After winning world championships in three weight divisions in just 10 fights as a professional boxer, Claressa Shields has signed on to take her talents to the MMA cage. The two-time Olympic gold medalist signed a contract to compete in the Professional Fighters League, PFL officials confirmed on Tuesday.

“I want to thank Professional Fighters League and Peter Murray for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity,” Shields said in a PFL press release. “What drew me to the PFL is that it is definitely a fighter-first organization, and I can’t wait to be a part of that. Since turning pro it has been my goal to be the GWOAT and to be a two-sport star like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders,” said Claressa Shields. “I want to go where no man or woman has gone and hold championships in both boxing and MMA at the same time. The one-two punch of PFL in MMA and Salita Promotions in boxing will allow me to continue to show that there are no limits to what a woman can do. I can’t wait to get to work!”

Shields won gold medals in 2012 and 2016 before turning professional in November 2016. In just her fourth professional bout, Shields won the WBC and IBF super middleweight titles. She then added the WBA and IBF middleweight titles in her sixth fight. Four fights later, she dropped to light middleweight and won the WBC and WBO world championships.

Her name had been previously tied to both two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes and former UFC and current Bellator champion Cris Cyborg for dream fights, either in the cage or the boxing ring.

While those promotions didn’t land Shields, there are some appealing fights in PFL. The promotion employs a “season” structure, featuring tournaments across multiple weight classes. In 2019, Kayla Harrison, who won Olympic gold medals in judo at the same two Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016, won the women’s lightweight title.

Similar to Harrison’s path, though, Shields will begin her PFL career by taking one-off fights in 2021 before competing in the 2022 season. Harrison took the same route in 2018 before claiming the PFL gold in 2019. 

Shields teased the move in February, posting a social media video of her throwing kicks in training and stating she was “serious about transitioning.”

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Nancy Darsch, Champion Coach of Women’s Basketball, Dies at 68

Nancy Darsch, who helped turn Ohio State into a women’s basketball powerhouse and then joined the professional ranks, becoming the first coach of the New York Liberty and leading the team to the W.N.B.A.’s inaugural championship game, died on Nov. 2 at her home in her hometown, Plymouth, Mass. She was 68.

She had suffered from Parkinson’s disease, her sister-in-law, Mary Darsch, said.

Darsch had solid credentials when she joined Ohio State as the women’s head coach in 1985. She had been an assistant to the renowned Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee — the first assistant women’s basketball coach at the university to be paid — and helped lead the Lady Vols to five Final Four appearances.

She was also an assistant coach for the United States teams that won gold medals in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and in the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

“We were committed to finding someone with a national reputation,” Ohio State’s athletic director, Rick Bay, told The Columbus Dispatch in June 1985. Darsch, he said, had coached “every great women’s basketball player in the country in the past five years.”

In her 12 years at Ohio State, her teams won four Big Ten titles, made seven N.C.A.A. tournament appearances and played in one championship game, in 1993, when the No. 3 Buckeyes lost to No. 5 Texas Tech, 84-82. It was the first time a Big Ten women’s team had made it to the N.C.A.A. championship.

Under Darsch, the Ohio State women had their first televised game, on ESPN in 1990. She brought in one of the first full-time strength coaches for a college women’s team as well as a sports psychologist, an emerging concept at the time.

In 1991-92, Ohio State recruited the top freshman class in the country, signing Katie Smith, who would be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 2018. In the 1993-94 season, the Buckeyes led the country in attendance for women’s collegiate basketball games.

Darsch was also host of “The Nancy Darsch Show” on local television, on which she talked basketball with guests. Having one’s own show was a rarity for female coaches at the time.

She accomplished another milestone in 1994, when she became the first coach of an Ohio State women’s team to receive a multiyear contract — a breakthrough at a time when most women’s coaches worked year to year.

When the W.N.B.A. started up in 1997, Darsch, with nearly 20 years of top-tier college experience, signed on as head coach of the Liberty, a team anchored by the superstars Rebecca Lobo and Teresa Weatherspoon and owned by Madison Square Garden.

The night before the team’s first practice, Darsch, along with her assistant coach, athletic trainer and a volunteer equipment manager, sat with a black magic marker putting players’ numbers on white socks. The team barely had a practice court — they’d usually work out at a sports club — and no video system to make

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Lee Hyo-jae, Champion of Women’s Rights in South Korea, Dies at 95

Lee Hyo-jae was born on Nov. 4, 1924, in Masan, a precinct of Changwon in Gyeongsang Province, during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Her father, Lee Yak-shin, was a Presbyterian minister and leader in the church and her mother, Lee Oak-kyung, founded and ran an orphanage.

When she was a young woman, her parents brought her to Seoul for an arranged marriage but Ms. Lee ran away, believing it would interfere with her ambitions, Mr. Rowe said. She never married.

A few years later her father met Jobe Couch, an American serviceman attached to the U.S. Embassy in Korea. Mr. Couch, who was married but had no children, became impressed by Ms. Lee’s younger sister Hyo-suk and offered to take her back with him to the United States to gain a college education. The sister, however, refused to go without Ms. Lee and so he brought them both in 1945.

It wasn’t easy. Mr. Couch had to enlist the help of an Alabama congressman, Carl Elliott, to obtain visas and he had to lobby the University of Alabama to accept the sisters on full scholarships even though they did not speak English.

Ms. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree at Alabama and went on to earn a master’s in sociology from Columbia University before returning to South Korea in 1957.

She founded the sociology department at Ewha the following year. She began teaching the school’s first course in women’s studies in 1977, which led to the development of South Korea’s first graduate level women’s studies program.

“She was the most distinguished woman leader at that time,” Jung Byung-joon, a history professor at Ewha, said in an email, and she became an advocate for human rights and democratization. “It was very challenging and dangerous choice for her to join the anti-regime movement.”

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‘I’m The 2020 Women’s Chess World Champion’



Ju Wenjun sitting at a table: Wenjun Ju is the 2020 Women's Chess World Champion. She has won the title twice before and became a chess grandmaster at the age of 23.


© David Llada
Wenjun Ju is the 2020 Women’s Chess World Champion. She has won the title twice before and became a chess grandmaster at the age of 23.

I was seven years old when I first started playing chess. My parents didn’t know too much about the game because chess doesn’t have a long history in China. Most people got to know more about it because of the 1991 Women’s Chess World Championships when China’s Xie Jun defeated Georgia’s Maia Chiburdanidze. That just happened to be the year I was born.

When I was in elementary school there were various options for interesting after school lessons and I chose chess. At first I found I played well against students in my area of the same age, and then went on to achieve excellent results in under-8s and under-10s national competitions. At that stage I began to think I could become a professional chess player. My home in Shanghai at the time was very close to where I studied chess, so I’d play chess almost every day for a few hours. Chess was perhaps the most significant aspect of my childhood.

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Then, in 2004 at the age of 13, I travelled to Beijing for professional chess training at the National Chess Center there. Sometimes you’re going to a tournament or event but the average time we trained was about six hours a day.

Becoming a grandmaster is the highest title in chess, and to achieve it you have to reach a rating of 2500 and three “norms”—in general, a norm is a strong performance with a rating of 2600 in select international chess events. When I received the title of grandmaster in 2014 I was 23 and had six norms. It’s still fairly rare for a woman to become a grandmaster, but I believed I was good enough. So I was happy, but it wasn’t necessarily surprising!

I first realized I could become Women’s Chess World Champion in 2016. That year, I competed in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Women’s Grand Prix 2015-16; a series of five chess tournaments where the winning player qualifies as a challenger to play in the next FIDE Women’s World Chess Championships. I won that Grand Prix.

Chess is a male-dominated sport, so keeping the championships separate gives a chance for more female players to join and achieve. They’ve also been separated since the women’s championships started in 1927, and there are open tournaments where male and female players can play against one another.

The Women’s World Chess Championship Match in May of 2018 was a 10 match tournament between myself and another Chinese player, Tan Zhongyi. We’ve known each other since childhood, and I knew for at least a year she would be my opponent, so I had plenty of time to prepare. I won three matches, drew five and lost two. So although it wasn’t easy, I was leading throughout.

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34 Best Prime Day Fashion & Clothing Deals 2020 Under $50: Champion, Levi’s, Fila

Every discount, holiday deal, and surprise sale you’ve scoured in the past has prepared you for this two-day event. Of course, we’re talking about Amazon Prime Day. From highly-anticipated tech deals to much-needed kitchen appliances (Instant pot, anyone?), there’s plenty to score and save during this sale. If you are a fashion lover like us, though, your eyes (and wallets) will go straight to the best clothing and accessories deals.

Whether it’s TikTok’s coveted brands like Champion, BTS member V’s fave sunglasses (yes, the ones he wore recently on In the Soop), or celeb-approved denim, there’s so much to go through and so little time.

Luckily for you, we’ve gone through the ever-changing deal list and rounded up the best fashion deals on Amazon Prime Day under $50. Be sure your Amazon Prime membership is ready to go (remember you can cancel it at any time  afterward) and get ready to shop!

Sweatshirts

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Champion Powerblend Boyfriend Crew Sweatshirt

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Champion LIFE Reverse Weave Sweatshirt

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Champion Powerblend Applique Bf Crew

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Rainbow TIE DYE Crewneck Sweater

Sweater Vests

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YESNO WM9 Casual Cute Sweater Vest

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Knitted Sweater Vest Sleeveless V-Neck

Denim

Image may contain: Pants, Clothing, Apparel, Denim, Jeans, Human, Person, Suit, Coat, Overcoat, Female, and Jacket

Levi’s Wedgie Skinny Jeans

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Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

Jewelry

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Chunky Gold Hoop Earrings

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sovesi 14K Gold Plated Paperclip Chain

Dresses

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RZIV Sleeveless Sweater Dress

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Vince Camuto Windowpane Uneven Hem Mix Print Dress

Loungewear

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Honeydew Sneak Peek Waffle Knit Lounge Pants

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Z SUPPLY The Marled Jogger Pant

Face Masks

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Levi’s Re-Usable Bandana Print Reversible Face Mask

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Reusable Cotton Face Mask (Pack of 50)

Shoes

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Fila Disruptor Ii Premium Sneaker

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New BalanceFresh Foam Crag Trail V2 Sneaker

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Keds Triple Kick Canvas Sneaker

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Amazon Essentials Lace Up Combat Boot

Accessories

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BAGGU Standard Triple Set

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Le Specs Horus Alt Fit Sunglasses

Tees

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endless rose Padded Shoulder T-Shirt

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Leggings

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ODODOS Out Pocket High Waist Yoga Pants,

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Shorts

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Wrangler High Rise Shorts

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Underwear

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Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Bralette

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Calvin Klein Carousel Logo Cotton Bikini Panty

Skirts

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Ekouaer Athletic Golf Skorts Lightweight Skirt

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Keasmto Leopard Midi Skirt

Coats

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Milumia 2PCS Plaid Blazer and Shorts Set

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