Claressa Shields beats Christina Hammer, unifies her division



By Keith Idec

CITY OF THE ATLANTIC – Claressa Shields confirmed virtually every provocative word Saturday night.

The middleweight champion, strong and undefeated, proved her superiority in what was supposed to be the toughest fight of her two-year professional career. Shields' speed, power, aggression and defense earned him a convincing victory over middleweight champion Christina Hammer at Adrian Phillips Theater on Boardwalk Hall.

The three judges – Lynne Carter, Guido Cavalleri and Robin Taylor – scored eight of the ten innings for Shields in the main event of a triple-share. Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) almost eliminated Hammer in the eighth round, but settled for a unanimous decision win in what was touted as the biggest fight in women's boxing history .

Cavalleri and Taylor scored the eighth round one-sided 10-8 for Shields, and so had 98-91 for her. Carter scored Shields a 98-92 winner.

"First of all, I can say I'm the tallest woman of all time," Shields told Steve Farhood of Showtime. "Give it to me, give it to me, you said I could not do it, you said it was 24-0, 11 KO It's not impossible for Claressa to beat her. 8-0, two knockouts Claressa will be knocked out Claressa will not hit hard.

Shields defended his middleweight titles IBF, WBA and WBC and won the Hammer WBO Championship. The German Hammer had the WBO title of 160 pounds since October 2010, about 22 months before Shields won the first of two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Shields, of Flint, Mich., Also joined welterweight champion, Cecilia Braekhus, as the only woman to hold IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO at the same time.

Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, lost for the first time as a professional (24-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC).

According to Showtime's unofficial statistics, Shields overall had more than twice as many hits as Hammer (112 out of 387-49 out of 366). Shields were particularly dominant in punching power (94 out of 212 to 24 out of 136), while Hammer had a slight margin in shots (25 out of 230 to 18 out of 175).

Shields, 24, and Hammer, 28, were expected to face November 17 at Boardwalk Hall. The undisclosed stomach disease of Hammer has caused them to postpone the most significant fight in the history of women's boxing for nearly five months.

Their fight began Saturday night with both boxers showing respect. However, the speed and power of Shields soon separated her from a more experienced opponent whose shot was supposed to give her a chance to compensate for these drawbacks.

Hammer caught a reckless Shields with a left hook inside during the second half of the 10th round, but that was the only powerful punch that seemed to knock out Shields. Despite everything, Shields quickly responded by hitting Hammer from a right backhand and backed the former champion.

An assertive shield pierced Hammer with punches early in the round and continued a vicious assault until the bell rang to end this round.

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Hammer held up and moved as best she could to avoid being knocked out in the eighth round.

Shields thought that she had won by a stop once the eighth round ended, as she had mistaken the referee Sparkle Lee by intervening at the moment the bell sounded like a stop.

"I knew I could hurt her," said Shields. "It was moments when I hurt her and I thought," You know what? I do not want to finish it yet. Hold on. I thought I'd finished it in the eighth round. I thought I saw a white towel arrive in the ring. That's when I thought, "Oh, hush! We had a knockout. But I thought the fight should be stopped. She held me back, pushing me away. She kept me excessively. You know? But I just said, "Stay cool, stay calm." … I wanted to be the first to get her out of there. I did everything I wanted to do. They said 98 to 92. Give me 100 to 90. Give me my credit. I beat her every turn. "

Hammer also lost his mouthpiece in the eighth round. She asked Lee a chance to replace the mouthpiece, although there was not necessarily a pause in the action justifying it.

Shields were connected with powerful shots during the last minute of the seventh round. Hammer did his best to get away from Shields, but an aggressive Shields continued to apply pressure to hold him by the hand.

The shields hit Hammer with a right and left while they fought from inside during the sixth round. A Shields right hand supported Hammer at the beginning of the fifth round and forced her to hold.

A left hook by Shields connected during the fourth round. Shields also landed a couple of left hands while Hammer tried to hold it.

Lee warned Hammer against excessive restraint by the end of the fourth round. Lee told Hammer that she would take away a point if she was good.

The shields slid several punches thrown by Hammer in the third round. Hammer tried to get rid of his shot in the third round, but Shields mostly kept his distance.

Shields pierced the hammer with two straight hands in the second half of the second round. This second shot prompted Shields to pick on Hammer because she thought a retired Hammer was injured.

The shields are connected with a left-hand hook just before the end of the first turn. Shields missed Hammer with a combination of punches just past the minute mark of the first round.

A few rounds later, Shields settled into a rhythm and took control of his most important fight. Shields has always credited Hammer for testing it.

"Thanks to Christina Hammer and her team," said Shields. "Dude, yo, they said that she was having a hard time. Sh * t, they did not lie. His jab was out of the chain. She is probably left-handed, true speech. She can fight. "

Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for BoxingScene.com. You can contact him on Twitter @ Idecboxing.


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