Atlantic City, NJ– Undefeated and reigning middleweight champion Claressa “T-REX” Shields picked apart Christina Hammer during their historic middleweight unification bout on Saturday. With Saturday’s dominant performance, Shields placed herself in an exclusive class among elite boxers that have won four major world titles in any weight class. She had already won- and retained- the IBF, WBA, and WBC belts, and added the WBO title to her growing collection by way of Saturday’s electric performance.
Prior to Shields, the only other fighters to have matched the feat of unifying all four of the major sanctioning body belts are Terrence Crawford at 147-lbs., Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins at middleweight (160-lb. weight class), Russian Oleksandr Usyk in the 205-lb. cruiserweight division and women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
“I am the greatest woman of all time,” stated Shields, who nearly earned a stoppage during a blistering barrage of punches in the closing moments of the eighth round. “I did it. She didn’t win a single round. I almost knocked her out. I swear I feel like I’m dreaming right now,” commented the Flint, Michigan native immediately after the conclusion of the affair on Saturday night.
“Thanks to Christina Hammer and her team. They said she had a hard jab and they weren’t lying. Her jab is off the chain,” the refreshingly gracious two-time Olympic Gold medalist commented following her victorious performance.
Shields continued to explain her cerebral and highly tactical approach during the fight. “I was just calculating in the first round and after that, I started picking her apart,” she continued. “I knew I could hurt her. I thought I finished her in round eight. I thought the fight should have been stopped. She was holding onto me. I just told myself, stay cool, stay cool. I was trying to get the perfect punch to get her out of there.”
Hammer came into the fight with an undefeated record of 24-0, with 11 KO, but could not match up with the power and speed of Shields. Shields hit her Hammer with some devasting blows that had Hammer trying to figure out where she was.
Shields landed an impressive 44% of power punches, while Hammer scored only 13% of her power punches.“I didn’t fight very good or fast,” said Hammer. “That’s boxing, anything can happen. I wanted this fight. She won, respect to her. She’s a tough, strong woman and that’s all I can say. “She’s fast, she comes forward. She has fast hands. I couldn’t land my jab as good as I expected. I’ll come back and I’ll be back stronger.”
Shields expressed her interest in fighting another contender after her victory over Hammer.“Women’s boxing, we’re on fire. I cannot wait to see the next super fight. Give me Cecilia Brækhus at 154 pounds. That’s who I want next. Either her or Savannah Marshall.”
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