Prior to her fight against Tori Nelson this past Friday, two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields spoke to the press about what she feels is a lack of respect she has received following her early run as a professional.
Shields, 22, the IBF/WBC super middleweight world champion, stated “I did something that made history and people are sitting there acting like I don’t even exist.”
Shields managed to put her frustration to the side, however, as she dominated Nelson over ten rounds on SHOWTIME’s ShoBox: The New Generation series from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Shields dominated from the opening to closing bell, collecting 100-90 tallies on all scorecards in the first 10-round distance fight of her career. The 2012 and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist out-landed Nelson 225-81 with her total punches, 186-70 in powers shots, and connected at a 44% with power shots compared to just 20% for Nelson.
“I landed every shot that I thought possible to land,” Shields stated. “She was tough, she wasn’t a pushover. She put on a good fight.”
Shields is now 5-0 with two knockouts as professional in what was likely her final fight in the super middleweight class. Shields now very well could move down in weight for possible fight vs. WBC/WBO Female Middleweight champion Christina Hammer (22-0, 10 KO’s), who fights out of Germany. Hammer was ringside on Friday night and posed with Shields afterwards.
“I have to drop down and see how I feel,” Shields said. “I think I could make 160 easy, I’m going to be bigger and stronger than any girl.
“Hammer just wants to scope,” Shields added. “I think she’s pretty scared to be honest. She is more worried about me than I am about her. I’m going to kick Hammer’s ass. People think Hammer is more skilled than me so I can’t wait to show her that she’s not.”
Hammer, who very well could be in a co-featured bout on the next Shields card, was interviewed by SHOWTIME’s Steve Farhood and expressed interest in both her U.S. debut and eventually facing the American champion.
“It’s a great combination me and her on the same card,” Hammer said. “I can’t wait to show the fans who Christina Hammer is. That will be the best fight ever. It will be the game-changer for female boxing. It’s our time to shine.
“I’m long-time world champion and I have more experience,” Hammer, 27, added. “I have longer reach, I’m tall, I have good footwork and better technique than her. I feel the energy, and I can’t wait to fight against her.”
Just a little over a year into her professional career and Shields has already made plenty of noise. Let’s wait and see what happens with her and Hammer this year.