The WBAN, one of the most highly-respected organizations in female boxing, has announced that their World Super Middleweight Championship belt will be on the line this Friday, January 12, when two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) defends her WBC and IBF titles against undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
The Women’s Boxing Archive Network, founded in 1998 by former #1-rated fighter Sue “TL” Fox, has become the world’s leading authority for resource and information on female boxing. The WBAN belt is awarded selectively and only in recognition of championship fights featuring best-in-class matchups in a division. Shields and Nelson are ranked #1 and #2 at super middleweight by the WBAN.
Over the ensuing years, a veritable “who’s who” of female fighters have held WBAN Championships, including Holly Holm, Anne Sophie Mathis, Myriam Lamare, Frida Walberg, Amanda Serrano, Mary Jo Sanders, Ann Marie Saccurato, Lindsay Garbatt, Melissa Hernandez, Diane Prazak and Yazmin Rivas.
“Through the WBAN, the ‘best of the best’ have the opportunity to fight for an elite, independent belt,” said Sue Fox. “This is a tremendous fight between the two best female super middleweights in the world and the WBAN is happy to add our sanction.”
“I want to thank Sue Fox and the WBAN for their recognition of the marquis quality of the Shields vs Nelson matchup as well as the accomplishments of both WBC/IBF World Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields and her undefeated veteran challenger Tori Nelson,” said Shields co-manager Mark Taffet. “We are proud that these women are being recognized for taking on the biggest and best challenges and contributing to the continued growth and prominence of women’s boxing.”
“This belt adds another dimension to this terrific fight,” said Dmitriy Salita, Shields’ promoter. “The WBAN has been a respected body in women’s boxing for many years. If Sue Fox says you’re the champion, you are the champion. Claressa is very proud to be fighting for their belt.”
In the February 2012 commemorative issue of The Ring Magazine, Fox was named one of the Top-Ten Most Influential female boxers of all time. In 2008, USA Boxing recognized Fox for her contributions in developing the sport. Fox also created the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (IWBHF) in 2014.
Also featured on the January 12 telecast, Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.