Shields-Habazin set for January 10 in Atlantic City

The long-awaited showdown between undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former champion Ivana Habazin has been rescheduled for Friday, January 10 live on SHOWTIME from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Shields and Habazin will face off for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound world titles as Shields attempts to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

Shields and Habazin were scheduled to fight on October 5 in Flint, Mich. The bout was called off less than 36 hours from the opening bell following an altercation at the official weigh-in that resulted in an injury to Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir. This is the third date for Shields and Habazin. They were first scheduled to meet on August 17 before Shields withdrew due to a minor knee injury.

The January 10 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a WBA Super Lightweight World Title Eliminator between Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs) and Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs). The winner becomes the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Lightweight World Championship currently held by Mario Barrios.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. Ergashev vs. Hunter is promoted in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. Ticket information for the live event will be announced next week.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over previously undefeated world champion Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, the two-division titlist joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list). On January 10, Shields will seek to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Kosei Tanaka, who both accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“My goal is to become three-division champ faster than any man or woman in history,” Shields said.  “This is a very significant fight for both of us. We have both trained really hard twice and great opportunities await the winner, so hopefully three times is the charm.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 30-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

Habazin will train in her native Croatia and has dedicated the fight to Bashir.

“I’ve been thinking about this since October and I have more of an incentive now given what happened,” Habazin said. “I feel like I’m fighting for James Ali Bashir, as well as for my own pride and respect. I’m also fighting for my country. I want to make Croatia proud that I am their daughter, and I feel that I now have their full support. Claressa is just a brief stop on my journey. I have bigger dreams and bigger shoes to fill in my life. I’m on my way to fulfilling my personal legend – being crowned the undisputed women’s junior middleweight champion. This is just another step on that journey. Given my faith, I feel that while what happened in October was incredibly unfortunate, this was God’s plan.  And I have faith that my hand will be raised in victory in January.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017.  Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest.  She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

Hard-hitting super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs), of Uzbekistan, is ranked in the top-15 in three of the four major sanctioning bodies.  The 27-year-old Ergashev is coming off an impressive fourth round knockout of veteran Abdiel Ramirez this past August on ShoBox: The New Generation.  In his previous appearances on the prospect developmental series, the former member of the Uzbek national team scored a third round knockout against then top-10 rated Sonny Fredrickson, and a 10-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Mykal Fox.  The hard-hitting southpaw currently trains in Detroit with Javan “Sugar” Hill at the new Kronk Gym with stablemate Vladimir Shishkin.

“My goal is to be the junior welterweight champion of the world in 2020,” Ergashev said.  “After I win this fight I will be just one step away from realizing my dream of bringing the world title home to my country Uzbekistan.”

The 27-year-old Hunter is ranked No. 12 in the WBA.  A native of Las Vegas, the 6-foot Hunter will make his national television debut against the first undefeated opponent of his career.  Hunter, who is the younger brother of former Olympian Michael Hunter, trains at Bones Adams Gym in Las Vegas and is co-managed by former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.

“I’m looking forward to making my national television debut on Showtime,” said Keith “The Bounty” Hunter. “Boxing is in my blood and January 10 will be my chance to take my career to the next level. Ergashev has a bounty on his head, I’m here to collect!”

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Shields: ‘I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before’

Unified middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin showed off their skills at a media workout Wednesday before they go toe-to-toe this Saturday night in a showdown for the WBO and WBC 154-pound world titles live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Mich.

 Joining them at the media workout were fighters competing in non-televised attractions Saturday including local super flyweight contenders Ja’Rico O’Quinn and James Smith, who will fight for the WBO International title, and Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, who steps in against Erin Toughill in a super welterweight attraction.

 After her portion of the media workout, Shields, who fights in her hometown of Flint for the first time as a pro on Saturday, spent time with kids who participate in the gym’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) program for Detroit students ages 8-18. The gym currently serves over 170 students with mentorship and training programs.

 Here is what Claressa Shields had to say:

 “It hasn’t really hit me yet that I’m actually fighting in Flint. Once everything happens at the press conference I think it will actually hit me. I hope that this fight shows people in Flint that no matter what we go through, Flint comes out on top.

“Habazin has a good record and is ranked highly, so I know what she presents. I trained for nine weeks not to lose weight, but to be prepared for a tough match. I trained to come here and get the knockout. It should be a great fight come Saturday.

“I’ve been fighting for 13 years and I’ve never missed weight once. If you have a fight at a certain weight class, you come on weight. That’s just protocol. You do what you have to do. I’m still drinking my water and eating. I’m not starving myself to make weight.

“It’s important every time to look better than my last fight. That’s just my mentality so that I keep myself from doing too much but also doing enough. I looked superb in my last fight. I showed people that I’m a complete fighter. I can’t show less than that on Saturday. To me, that means I have to get the knockout.

“I know that I’m faster at 154-pounds. It’s been a big jump for this one. I’m Roy Jones Jr. fast for this one. I can drop my hands, throw punches and land them from any angle. This weight is beneficial for body. It fits me well.

“I’ve taken women’s boxing to a place it hasn’t been before, but it’s not where it needs to be yet. I think that my performances are getting better and better and everything I do outside of boxing is helping to build me up as well.

“I just want to get better every fight. I want to make sure that I show even more of everything that I did against Hammer. That’s been my mentality since the amateurs.”

 

Claressa Shields is hoping to make history on October 5 against Habazin

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields’ attempt at history has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME. Shields will aim to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion when she takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT) from Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

 The vacant WBC Women’s Diamond Super Welterweight Championship will also be on the line in Shields’ first professional fight in her hometown.

 The homecoming fight was initially scheduled for August 17 and postponed in June after Shields suffered a minor injury to her right knee while doing roadwork.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event go on sale today/Tuesday, August 6 at 2 p.m. ET and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division titlist who became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, she joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list).

Now, the Flint star seeks to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“I’m more excited than ever. I’m 100 percent recovered, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring and fight in front of my hometown fans in Flint as undisputed champion of the world,” said Shields. “Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make October 5 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step in history, and giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 29-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

“It’s an honor and a dream to fight in the U.S. on national television,” Habazin said. “A lot of fighters never get this opportunity in their careers so I know I need to make the most of it. I’ve been training for this fight since June and the postponement has only given me more time to get ready. I intend to put my best effort forward to impress the fans and show that I am for real. 

“I am not just coming to fight for a world title, I am fighting for my life and my career. I believe I am the best and now I got the chance to prove that, and there is no better opponent for that than Claressa Shields.”

 Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics. 

The undercard for the telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Claressa Shields aiming to become a three-division world champion

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields will aim to make history by becoming the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion when she takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin Saturday, August 17 live on SHOWTIME.

The showdown for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title headlines a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast at 9 p.m. ET/PT from Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Mich. The vacant WBC Women’s Diamond Super Welterweight Championship will also be on the line in Shields’ first professional fight in her hometown.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division titlist who became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, she joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list).

Now, the Flint star seeks to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin on August 17, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“It’s hard to even put into words how excited I am to be returning home as undisputed champion and fighting in front of all my fans in Flint,” said Shields. “And having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make August 17 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 29-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

“I’m honored to fight on SHOWTIME and to be making my debut in the U.S.,” said Habazin. “It’s a dream come true and this is a huge chance for me to prove that I am one of boxing’s elite fighters. I will not let this opportunity pass. I’m not just coming to the U.S. to fight, I’m coming for victory.

“I’m actually a big fan of Claressa. She made history for women’s boxing and will be a great opponent for me. She’s very confident in herself, she’s aggressive, she can move, she has speed and good defense. But I have all of this too, and I can punch. I can’t wait to see what she is made of. They said her fight against Hammer was the biggest of all time, but I think this one will be the greatest ever.”

“I am delighted to promote another historic event featuring Claressa Shields, who strives to make history at a record-setting pace when she challenges herself to go down in weight to win a third division title against a very skilled and motivated fighter in Ivana Habazin,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Fans attending the fight at the Dort Center in Flint, as well as those watching the fight live on SHOWTIME, will be treated to another historic and exciting night of boxing featuring Shields.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

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

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

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.