Claressa Shields v. Christina Hammer is one of the most important fights in boxing today
Two undefeated fighters will look to make history in Atlantic City. This women’s boxing may very well shock the world.
The stage is set: Claressa Shields, the young smooth talking Olympian, will do battle against German royalty in Christina Hammer. The winner will become one step closer to becoming the true undisputed middleweight champion.
Shields (8-0) is the current WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight champion while Hammer (24-0, 1 NC) is the WBO Champion. Each has perfect records and the skills to back it all up. They will be main eventing a Showtime Boxing special on April 13th inside Atlantic City, NJ’s Boardwalk Hall. Not only is this fight important for women everywhere, but for the boxing world in general.
Prior to this bout being created, the last true female superfight may very well have been Laila Ali v. Christy Martin back in 2003. Ali won via knockout in the fourth round. With females not getting the recognition they deserved during that time, imagine that fight today? Hammer and Shields aren’t the same as their predecessors. However, they have a chance to show the world what motivated female boxers can do.
Showtime President Stephen Espinoza has been doing all in his power to make his brand a dominant entity. While marketing can be huge, he believes this fight is a game-changer.
“Let’s get one thing straight here. This isn’t just an important women’s fight. This isn’t just a high-quality women’s boxing match. This is a high-quality boxing match,” Espinoza stated. “This is an important fight. So certainly we have two very skilled women, we’re not going to ignore that fact. But this is one of the best fights that can be made in this sport. Two pound-for-pound boxers, the best fighting the best. If you are not interested in this fight, then candidly, you are not a boxing fan. This is as good as this sport gets.”
With all the politics surrounding Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, getting these female fights is a refreshing scene. While the divisions aren’t as stacked, there are fighters ready and willing to prove they can take over. Fighters like Cecilia Brækhus, Mikaela Mayer, Alicia Napoleon, Heather Hardy, Amanda Serrano, Katie Taylor and of course Shields and Hammer come to mind. Some fights are even better than their male counterparts.
Main eventing a show in Atlantic City is a huge honor that could open the door for more opportunities. The region is a big fight area. In fact, speaking with Eddie Hearn, he stated that the rate these women are going, we could see regularly scheduled female main event fights.
Asked Eddie Hearn about potential consistent female main events under #DAZN/#Boxing in general. He believes they can happen sooner than we think, esp. with fighters like @1LadyCecilia @Claressashields @KatieTaylor @Serranosisters. #WomenInSports @femalefightfans @DoubleGSports pic.twitter.com/tyR88fgcyz
— Daniel Yanofsky (@DanYanofsky) January 16, 2019
Christina Hammer and Claressa Shields understand how important this fight is. Besides titles, there is a lot on the line.
“I think for women’s boxing this is a true super fight that we’ve never gotten before,” Shields stated at the pre-fight press conference. “We’ve never had a fight like this in women’s boxing. It’s great to make this happen and us being from two parts of the world makes this fight even better.”
“This fight is the real deal. This is going to be a game-changer for women’s boxing,” said Hammer. “I think we’re going to inspire a lot of female athletes who want to live their dream. It’s motivation for everyone.”
The market may need to grow, however, as several fans have been accustomed to something different. Make no mistake about it though, the fight is bigger than anyone can imagine. If there are two fighters who can change the perception of women’s boxing, it is these two warriors.
With Shields v. Hammer, we could end up with the winner v. someone like Brækhus, Taylor v. Serrano and much more. With all the attention seemingly going to the men, the women will be the ones stealing the show this time.
Watch out, folks, the next few months of female boxing will be quite a site. Are you ready for them?
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