Ending HBO with a Bang – Claressa Shields to face Femke Hermans on December 8
For Claressa Shields, there are no days off.
Fresh off of a dominating performance against Hannah Rankin on November 17 (this past Saturday), Shields will be back in action on December 8. The 23-year-old will be defending her IBF, WBA, and WBC Middleweight belts against contender Femke Hermans. The fight will be one of the top three bouts inside the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Announced as “Boxing After Dark”, Shields and Hermans will be fighting on the final HBO Boxing broadcast before the company turns off the lights on the storied sport.
Shields (7-0) will be on the same card as Cecilia Brækhus, one of the top female fighters in the world today. Brækhus (34-0) will main event the show against Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes. The fight will be for the undisputed Women’s Welterweight Championship.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated regarding the announcement, Shields was honored to be on the same card as Brækhus, and hopes to one day be on the other side of the ring against her.
“I’m so excited to be fighting live on HBO and to share the stage with Cecilia Braekhus on Dec. 8,” said Shields. “It’s a great step forward for women’s boxing to have the two best female fighters in the world on the same card on worldwide television.”
Hermans (9-1) is on a three-fight win streak. Her last loss was this past March against Alicia Napoleon for the vacant WBA Female Super Middleweight Title. Both may be lacking in the knockout department (Hermans with three, Shields with two), but the power these fighters possess can still impress anybody watching.
If Shields was to defeat Hermans, the previously planned bout against Christina Hammer makes the most sense for the Flint, Michigan native. Hammer had to back out of an Atlantic City fight with Shields due to illness. After that? Potential fights against Brækhus or Napoleon are always on the table.
At one point, it was never thought possible that women would main event an HBO-related boxing event. Now, two premier fights feature dominant female fighters, a step in the right direction in the boxing world.
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