Claressa Shields is one of the top rising stars in the world of boxing. But if that doesn’t work out for her, she might have a career in headline writing.
Shields will take on Christina Hammer Saturday night live on Showtime from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The undisputed middleweight title will be on the line as Shields defends her IBF, WBC and WBA crowns.
“Hammer signed up for something she shouldn’t have signed up for. She’s going to get hurt on Saturday. I love that she has an accomplished record. People say I don’t have power or this and that but on paper I’ve been an underdog in most of my fights and I’ve beat all those women,” Shields said. “This is the hardest I’ve ever trained for a fight. Not because I don’t think that I can beat her, but because of the spotlight, I don’t want to let my fans down. I don’t want to let the women who came before me down. They never got to have a fight as big as this one. I don’t want anyone to say it’s all hype. I want to put on a show.
“When I beat Christina Hammer on Saturday, I want everyone’s headline to say ‘Shields nails the Hammer’. It’s not a game to me. It’s going to be bad for her.”
The winner will become only the second undisputed champion in women’s boxing history and the sixth fighter – male or female – ever to unify all four recognized titles.
“I’m just being myself. I can’t put all the pressure on me to be something I’m not. I love talking trash, that comes natural. There’s a bit of truth in there too. When it gets to times like this, I’m not afraid to say how I feel,” Shields said. “The reason why I’m here is because I’ve taken on the biggest challenges and fought the best fighters. It feels good. I know that I’m going to beat her and take all of these belts home.
“Women’s boxing is becoming bigger and with ‘All-Access ‘ you can see that I train hard, spar against men and go hard for three minutes for 12 rounds. We’ve been around for a long time and we haven’t gotten our just do yet. We’re getting more and we’re getting to the point where one day it can all be equal.”