Claressa Shields vs. Christina Hammer showdown will finally happen on April 13
The biggest female fight in years will finally take place on Apr. 13.
Middleweights Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will square off in a unification fight, it was announced Tuesday afternoon.
The 10-round bout will take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The fight will air live on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).
The fight between Shields and Hammer has been in the works for the last several weeks. The fight became official after Hammer stopped Elene Sikmashvili in round two this past Saturday night in Berlin, Germany.
Shields owns the WBC, WBA, and IBF world title belts at 160 pounds, and Hammer is the WBO titleholder. The winner of the fight will join Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Terence Crawford and Oleksandr Usyk, and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.
The 23-year-old Shields (8-0, 2 knockouts), who resides in Flint, Michigan, successfully defended all three belts in her last fight on Dec. 8, winning a one-sided decision over Femke Hermans of Belgium in Carson, California.
“I always seek the biggest challenges and set the highest goals,” said Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who is managed by Mark Taffet. “Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights. I want to be the greatest of all time and change the game forever for all women in sports, and Apr. 13 is an important step on that road to history.”
“I will be ready like never before and will defeat Christina Hammer on Apr. 13.”
Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs), who is also originally from Kazakhstan and now resides in Dortmund, Germany, has held the WBO title since 2010.
The 28-year-old Hammer will be fighting for the second time in the U.S. and believes her experience will overcome Shields’ youth and athleticism.
“I have waited a long time for this moment,” said Hammer, who is advised by Tom Loeffler. “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.”
Both fighters share a common opponent in Tori Nelson, both of whom notched a one-sided decision over Nelson.
Dmitriy Salita promotes both fighters.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @FSalazarBoxing