This is part of The Shadow League’s yearly Black History Month In Focus series celebrating Black excellence in sports and culture.
Claressa Shields is on the precipice of history.
The 23-year-old (8-0, 2 KOs) is already a two-division world boxing champion. She currently holds the IBF, WBA and WBC 160-pound titles. However, her next matchup can cement her greatness in a sport that is unforgiving; especially to its female warriors.
The undefeated middleweight world champion and Christina Hammer will meet on Saturday, April 13 to crown the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion.
The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join a small group of elite fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class. A win will place Shields with Terence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus.
“I always seek the biggest challenges and set the highest goals. I will be ready like never before and will defeat Christina Hammer on April 13,” said Shields. “Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights.”
A Legacy of Firsts
Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals.
The Flint, Michigan native and 2017 TSL Awards recipient turned professional following the 2016 Olympics. She became the unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles. This made her a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest.
Shields picked up the vacant WBC title last November with a unanimous decision over Hannah Rankin. She most recently defended all three titles in December against Femke Hermans.
Hammer has been the dominant force in the women’s middleweight division since winning the WBO title in 2010. The 28-year-old German fighter (24-0, 11 KOs) owns the WBO belt, is the WBC Champion in Recess, dominating the women’s middleweight division for over eight years.
Claressa Shields takes on Christina Hammer for the undisputed women’s middleweight world championship – Saturday, April 13 live on Showtime from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Shields enters the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division but she has already made history.
“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,” she said.