Take Two: Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer unification bout set for Atlantic City
Both Hammer and Shields want to unite their division, but only one can walk out on top.
Women’s boxing has been on the rise over the years, with Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer leading the pack. Both fighters have the skills to dominate the sport for a long time. It looks like we will finally get the match we’ve been waiting for, as the fight between both middleweights is back on. The two are set to clash in the main event of a Showtime Boxing special on April 13th inside Atlantic City, NJ’s Boardwalk Hall.
Both Shields (8-0) and Hammer (24-0) were supposed to fight back in November, but the latter had to back out due to a health issue. Now healthy, one of the most highly-anticipated bouts in women’s boxing was booked again right away.
The 23-year-old Shields won the WBC Middleweight Title from Hannah Rankin back in November and retained that title along with the WBC and IBF titles in a bout against Femke Hermans in December. She has won four fights in a row via unanimous decision as she looks to find her power punch. The two-time Olympic medalist has only one goal in mind: to shut down the division she believes belongs to her.
“Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights,” said Shields. “I want to be the greatest of all time and change the game forever for all women in sports, and April 13 is an important step on that road to history.”
In her way is the far more experienced Hammer, who holds the WBO and WBC (in recess) Middleweight Titles. The 28-year-old from Kazakhstan has eleven knockout wins. After recovering from the illness that affected her fight against Shields the first time, Hammer knocked out Elene Sikmashvili this past weekend in a non-title bout.
“I have waited a long time for this moment,” stated Hammer.”I am bigger, stronger and more experienced than Claressa Shields. I am undefeated and have been a champion for over eight years. I can’t wait to show the world that I am the best and undisputed middleweight champion of the world.”
Shields’ manager Mark Taffet has been planning this moment for Shields, as has Showtime (in general). The organization has invested a lot in women’s boxing over the past few years. A win by either fighter will put them in exclusive company with Terence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecelia Brækhus as the only boxer to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.
After the bout, the winner will look to face the only female to hold multiple titles within a division in Brækhus (35-0), who holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and IBO Welterweight Titles. From one superfight to the next, both have been lobbying for a chance to shine against the best of the best.
Ticket information for the fight has not been released yet.
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