Claressa Shields believes she belongs on the men’s pound-for-pound list(VIDEO)

Claressa Shields is the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. The 24-year-old Flint, Mich. native delivered the best performance of her career and cruised to a unanimous decision over Germany’s Christina Hammer Saturday night in Atlantic City.  One judge scored the fight 98-92, and the other two judges had it 98-91.

The two-time Olympic gold-medalist Shields (9-0, 2 KOs), who entered the fight holding the IBF, WBA and WBC 160-pound titles, showed off her complete arsenal of skills in the dominating performance and now joins Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.

After this victory, some believe that Shields should be on the pound-for-pound list for not only women, but the men as well, and Shields agrees.

Listen below as Shields talks about the pound-for-pound list:

Photo/Courtesy: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
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Hammer on fight with Shields: ‘This is going to be the biggest women’s fight in history’

Before she arrived in New York Thursday for the final part of her training camp, WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammershared her thoughts on her showdown for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship against WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields Saturday April 13 live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Germany’s Hammer has held a middleweight world title since 2010, defending it numerous times including in her U.S. debut last June on SHOWTIME in which she defeated Tori Nelson. Now she looks to stamp her name in the history books in this matchup against Shields that many are calling the most significant fight in women’s boxing history.

Here are highlights of what Hammer had to say as we head into fight week for this historic event:

How excited are you about fighting in the U.S.?

Christina Hammer: “I’m really excited about it because this is a very big fight. I can’t wait to get there, step into the ring and put on a great performance.”

What does this fight mean to you?

CH: “This is going to be the biggest women’s fight in history. We’re both champions, she has Olympic gold medals and other accolades, so with all of that combined, it’s going to be a game changer for our sport.”

What do you need to do to win?

CH: “I’m a long time champion and I know what to do in the ring. I know I have the skills to beat her. I have great foot work and my goal is to beat her badly.”

What do you think of Claressa inside and outside of the ring?

CH: “Claressa has obviously accomplished a lot going back to the Olympics. This is a big step for her and I think it’s going to be a challenge for her. As a person, she’s just my opponent, that’s all.”

Can you describe your style of fighting and what fans can expect on April 13?

CH: “I’m tall for my division so I use my reach. I have great footwork and technique and power and I want to show off all those skills. I’m going to show that Christina Hammer is a great champion. I like to play with my opponent, and when the moment is right, I beat her down.”

 Can you talk about your experiences as a fashion model and why that’s important to you?

 CH: “I like modeling because it’s a different part of me. You can be more feminine and athletic. I did my first shoot three years ago and I had never done anything like that. I’ve worked on my skills there too.

 “To be a model is an easy job, it just gives me confidence. Being a fighter is hard. You have to give everything, because in the ring you can’t run away. You have to fight and defeat someone.”

 Would you ever want to compete in another sport?

CH: “I don’t know. Boxing is the best sport to me. It’s my passion. I give everything to the sport and my dream now is to be successful in America.”

Is there anyone in boxing history you’d have loved to fight?

CH: “Laila Ali was a great champion and If I fought her that would be a great fight.”

Do you see women’s boxing as a sport on the rise?

 CH: “Yes, it’s really grown in recent years. There are more fights on big platforms for us and I think this is just the start.”

Would you recommend for other women to go into boxing?

CH: “Boxing is a great sport. You need technique, intelligence and it makes you feel more confident. If something happens, you can take care of yourself. It’s the best workout and I suggest it to everyone.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Shields: ‘If I was a man, I would probably be one of the most famous boxers out there’

WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields hosted a media workout at 5th Street Gym in Miami Thursday as she nears her showdown against WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer for the undisputed middleweight world championship Saturday April 13 live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shields and unbeaten Hammer will look to become the sixth fighter in history to unify all four major world titles in the main event of aSHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/PT).

Shields has been training in Florida for the last week with her trainer John David Jackson, after spending the previous five weeks at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

Here is what Shields had to say on Thursday:

“Christina doesn’t know what’s coming for her. I’m going to break that Hammer in half.

“When we’re in there, it’s about who punches harder. This is a real fight. Just because she has height, doesn’t mean she’s going to dictate what happens. She’s going to have to do a lot to keep me off of her.

“I have two Olympic Gold Medals, three belts and more coming. I’ll have all the titles at the end of the night on April 13.

“I work hard, really hard. If I was a man, I would probably be one of the most famous boxers out there. There is a gender gap. We all know it. I’m working towards changing that. We work hard, we get less money and less recognition, but the world is changing. We are changing it.

“Hammer has been talking smack but I’m not worried about her. I’m just ready for a fight. She talks about a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with boxing. I’m waiting for her to say she’s going to hit me with an uppercut or something, but it’s more of the same.

“Being here in Florida to finish up camp has really been ideal. I’ve still been working extremely hard, but here I have a little extra space and sunshine. It was time for some new scenery in camp and I think this was the perfect move to take me into fight week.

“I’ve been working on my ‘Ali shuffle,’ this gym inspired me. Don’t be surprised if you see me break it out during the fight. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve. At the press conference there will be some surprises too – I have an outfit picked that is going to steal the show.

“This fight is long overdue and I’m just glad I’m going to get my chance to show her what a real champion is. Someone is going down on April 13 and I promise it’s not going to be me.

“People can say they’re not paying attention to you and not studying you, but they’re lying. I’m glad she’s looking at me closely though. Hammer flew one of my friends out there to be a sparring partner, not even knowing that she hasn’t sparred me in years and knows nothing about me. It makes me know I’m on her mind. She can spar with Ann Wolfe and she still isn’t going to beat me.”

Photo: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME

Shields: ‘I already told Christina(Hammer) I’m going to beat her and mess her up’

WBC, IBF and WBA Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields arrived in Miami yesterday to hold the final portion of her training camp at the Fifth Street Gym as she prepares to take on WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer in the main event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION triple-header Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Shields spent the last five weeks training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., following a two-week pre-camp in her hometown of Flint, Mich.

“We’ve been going twice a day every day except Sunday for five-straight weeks,” said Shields. “We put in lots of rounds sparring, tons of sprinting, pad work, push-ups, crunches and drills to help with my head movement.

“I’ve put my body through so much on this camp, and now it’s time to start cutting it down a bit. I’m in great shape and my weight is on point. I’m also in a great place mentally and very happy with this camp overall.”

In Florida, Shields is looking to prime herself for her showdown for the undisputed middleweight women’s world championship, in what is considered by many as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

“My main focus now is trying to relieve my body while keeping my conditioning,” said Shields. “I’m making sure that I go into fight week with no injuries or soreness. I’ve been in Colorado for over a month and it was time for some new scenery.

“I’m still going to be training very hard in Florida. I just need a little more sunshine and the additional space that’s provided for me down here. We did what we had to do in Colorado. Florida is just an ideal environment all-around and a happy place for me to be these last couple weeks.”

As Shields and trainer John David Jackson near fight night, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has a message for her fellow unbeaten opponent. “I know what I can and will do on April 13,” said Shields. “I already told Christina I’m going to beat her and mess her up. I’m taking this fight 100 percent seriously. I’m going to go out there and dominate her.

“I don’t want these belts handed to me. I’m coming to win every round on April 13. I’m a different kind of animal and Christina is going to see that on fight night. I’m ready. That’s it.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp

Claressa Shields: ‘I want to make her(Hammer) quit’

Two undefeated middleweight champions went face-to-face Tuesday as Claressa Shields, and Christina Hammer met in New York at a press conference ahead of their battle for the undisputed women’s middleweight championship Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

In only eight fights, Shields has become the face of women’s boxing, and now she has the opportunity to beat another great champion in Hammer. As Shields pointed out, this is a super fight.

“I think for women’s boxing this is a true super fight that we’ve never gotten before,” Shields said. “We’ve never had a fight like this in women’s boxing. It’s great to make this happen and us being from two parts of the world makes this fight even better.

“This has been long overdue. I’m just glad that Hammer is here and the fight is set,” Shields said. “She’s been at my fights before, but I can’t wait to get inside the ring and show her I’m the real champion.”

Hammer won’t be an easy out for Shields. She is 24-0 for a reason, and while Hammer is undefeated, Shields is not very impressed by Hammer’s previous opponents. The 23-year-old Shields believes she has the better resume.

“I’ve traveled to many different countries and dethroned champions around the world,” Shields said. “At the end of the day, I’m coming to fight, and I recognize that she’s a great champion. To be a champion for all those years shows that she’s a good fighter. But I also look at resumes, and her resume is not as good as mine.”

Shields is hoping to make Hammer quit on April 13, and two-time gold medalist thinks she has the power to do it.

“She’s not the tallest girl I’ve ever fought. I’m stronger than her and I know it. I got up from a knockdown and won. She can’t do that. I don’t believe she knows how to fight on the inside, but she better learn.

“I want to make her quit. I don’t want her to just know I’m a good fighter, I want her to know I’m great. I wish we could go 12 rounds, but I’ll be prepared for all 10 rounds.”

The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will feature a long-awaited unification in what is arguably the most significant event in women’s boxing history. In addition to world titles from all four sanctioning bodies, this fight will be for the Ring Magazine Women’s Middleweight Championship, the first time a Ring divisional title has been at stake in a women’s boxing match.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Shields-Hammer set for April 13 in Atlantic City

Undefeated middleweight world champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will meet on Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME to crown the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion.The blockbuster unification from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. will be the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is arguably the most significant women’s boxing event in history.

Shields vs. Hammer features two of the consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world squaring off to crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history.The fight, originally scheduled for November 2018, was postponed due to a now-resolved medical issue suffered by Hammer.

The 23-year-old Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division champion who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC 160-pound titles. The 28-year-old Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) owns the WBO belt, is the WBC Champion in Recess, and has dominated the women’s middleweight division for more than eight years. Shields and Hammer fought on the same card last June on SHOWTIME, with both fighters winning impressively to set up the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division.

The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.

Shields vs. Hammer is promoted by Salita Promotions.Ticket prices and on-sale date will be announced next week by Boardwalk Hall.

“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.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.”

“I have waited a long time for this moment,” said 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 was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. The Flint, Mich., native turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight for her June 22 headliner on SHOWTIME, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles and become a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest.After Hammer was named WBC Champion in Recess due to her medical issue, 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.

The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Shields expects to make history in 2019

Claressa Shields has had a banner career year in 2018 capped off by recently being named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Female Fighter of the Year and ThePrizeFighters.com’s Fighter of the Year and Fight of the Year for her victory over Hanna Gabriels. In addition to her recently announced honors, Shields was also inducted into the USA Boxing Hall of Fame and was a Women’s Sports Foundation nominee for Sportswoman of the Year earlier this year.

“I’m happy with my progress and accomplishments in 2018 but I’m even happier about the tremendous advances of women’s boxing this year,” said Shields. “We will make even more history in 2019, including my fight with Hammer to crown the undisputed middleweight champion of world.”

This has been the pinnacle year for women’s prizefighting and for Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and unified middleweight champion. Shields showed her deserved place among the top of the field by displaying her skills and grit in each one of her contests. She went 4-0 and beat opponents with a combined record of 49-4 including two world champions in Hanna Gabriels and Femke Hermans, plus one multi-time former world champion in Tori Nelson. Shields won three middleweight world title belts (WBC, WBA and IBF) in her second weight division and was the only fighter to fight major bouts on SHOWTIME, HBO and and new streaming service DAZN.

This monumental year will lead into what will be the biggest fight of her career, when she takes on middleweight world champion Christina Hammer for the undisputed middleweight championship in 2019.

“Claressa has had a meteoric rise this year with her impressive accomplishments inside and outside the ring,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita “This has been a breakout year in many ways for women’s boxing and Claressa has been on the forefront of this monumental progress. It’s great to see her work recognized with these highly respected awards and honors she is receiving for all her victories inside and outside the ring this year. We are looking forward to a great 2019.”

“I am incredibly proud of Claressa Shields as a champion of boxing, women’s sports, and gender equality,” said Mark Taffet, Shields’ manager. “Her accomplishments in 2018 continued to break the barriers and glass ceilings previously in place. On Claressa’s broad shoulders inside and outside the ring, we will continue to make history in 2019. I can’t wait for the Shields vs Hammer super fight and Claressa’s consideration for the top pound for pound list regardless of gender.”

Shields-Hammer set for 11/17 in Atlantic City

Two undefeated middleweight world champions will meet when Claressa Shields faces Christina Hammer on Saturday, November 17 live on SHOWTIME from the Adrian Phillips Theater in Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The blockbuster unification match to determine the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion will be the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION, live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Shields vs. Hammer features two of the consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world squaring off to crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history.

The 23-year-old Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division champion who holds the IBF and WBA 160-pound titles. The 28-year-old Hammer (23-0, 10 KOs) owns the WBC and WBO belts and has dominated the women’s middleweight division for nearly eight years. Shields and Hammer fought on the same card in June on SHOWTIME, with both fighters winning impressively to set up the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division.

The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four recognized titles in any weight class.

Tickets for the event, promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $35-$150 and will be available this Friday, September 28 at Ticketmaster.com and the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall box office powered by Atlantic City Electric.

“I’ve worked hard my whole life to overcome every obstacle, represent my country and win two Olympic gold medals, and win world championships in two weight divisions as a pro,” Shields said. “I want to be part of the biggest fight in women’s boxing history, I want to be undisputed world middleweight champion, I want women’s boxing to reach new heights, and the only thing standing between me and the achievement of all those goals is Christina Hammer. I will defeat Hammer on November 17, and I will do it in a way that will leave no doubt who is the best in the world.”

“I am beyond excited and motivated to fight Claressa,” Hammer said. “I am the best middleweight in the world and will make that point very clear when we get in the ring. It’s been my dream to fight in the biggest women’s fight of all time and raise women’s boxing to an all-time high. I will be crowned the undisputed middleweight queen on November 17.”

“SHOWTIME Sports has a long history of featuring the best in women’s combat sports, whether it was with Laila Ali and Christy Martin in boxing, or Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in MMA,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “More recently, since 2016 we have featured today’s elite with Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano appearing in an industry-leading 10 presentations of women’s boxing.

“Male or female, SHOWTIME has delivered the best fighters in their toughest matchups, and November 17 will be no different. We have two of the best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world facing each other with all four women’s middleweight titles at stake. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

“I have been fortunate to be part of some of the biggest and most important fights in boxing history, and I am thrilled to play a part in the Shields vs Hammer undisputed middleweight championship fight on SHOWTIME,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “This is a fight which will make its mark on history and change the landscape for women’s boxing. And what better venue to host this historic fight than Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, home to some of the greatest fights of our generation including Tyson vs Spinks, Holyfield vs Foreman and Gatti vs Ward. I can’t wait to see these two great champions give the fans a night to remember for generations to come.”

“This will be a historic night for boxing,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “The two best middleweights in the world – both champions, both undefeated and both motivated to prove who is the best – are bringing their skills, confidence and heart to the ring in the greatest women’s matchup of all time. Shield vs. Hammer will take boxing, and women’s sports, to a new height. History will be made November 17 live on SHOWTIME.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic Gold Medals. The Flint, Mich., native turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight for her June 22 headliner on SHOWTIME, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles and become a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest.

Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has been the dominant force in the women’s middleweight division since winning the WBO title in 2010. Hammer became unified champion in 2016 with a unanimous decision over WBC titlist Kali Reis and has made four defenses as unified champion. In her eight years as champion, Hammer has lost just a handful of rounds across 16 world title fights. Hammer, who also models professionally and was recently featured at Fashion Week in New York City, made her U.S. debut on June 22 after campaigning mostly in Germany since turning professional in 2009.

The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.