Claressa Shields to headline ShoBox card as title fight looms
Claressa Shields, so used to making history in the amateurs, will add to her status as a trailblazer when she headlines a Showtime ShoBox card on March 10 against Hungary’s Szilvia Szabados from the MGM Grand Detroit Event Center in Detroit, Michigan, it was announced on Tuesday.
It will be the first time a woman’s match has headlined a card on premium television. But there’s more: Her co-manager, Mark Taffet informed RingTV.com that he’s had preliminary discussions with WBO/WBC middleweight champion Christina Hammer (20-0, 9 knockouts) about a possible fight between Shields and Hammer in late 2017.
“We’ve had conversations together and Christina and her manager expressed a real desire to be a part of history and of pushing women’s sports forward and staging a fight as early as the end of 2017,” Taffet told RING. “She wants to make an impression on U.S. fans, and I expect to have more conversations with her and her team to make that dream a reality.”
Shields of Flint, Michigan, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who was the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold in 2012 and the first U.S. boxer to repeat as Olympic champion in back-to-back Games, winning again this past summer in Rio. Taffet spoke of Hammer possibly fighting in the U.S. and Shields (1-0, 1 knockout) fighting in Germany in separate bouts to draw interest in the eventual title fight. “To have Claressa with her two gold medals in Germany and Christina with her two world titles in the U.S., it all has the makings of a true world title event,” Taffet said.
But first, Shields will challenge former world title challenger Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) for the vacant NABF title on March 10 in a six-round middleweight bout in a card promoted by former fighter Dmitriy Salita. Shields, who is not signed to a promoter, made her pro debut on Nov. 19 on the non-PPV portion of the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev card, winning a four-round unanimous decision against amateur rival Franchon Crews.
“It is a dream come true to be the first woman to headline a boxing card on premium television,” Shields said in a prepared statement. “March 10 will be a historic night for boxing and all of the women who give so much to advance our sport. I am proud to be fighting for the NABF title in my second pro bout.”