CLARESSA SHIELDS AND HANNAH RANKIN MIAMI MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

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CLARESSA SHIELDS AND HANNAH RANKIN MIAMI MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Undisputed Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields and Former Champion Ivana Habazin Meet for WBO Junior Middleweight Title Saturday, October 5 Live On SHOWTIME® From Flint, Mich.

 Photo Credit: Julian Lajtai/SHOWTIME

 

MIAMI BEACH (September 24, 2019) – Undisputed Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields participated in a media workout in Miami on Tuesday in preparation for her upcoming showdown with Ivana Habazin next Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan.

Shields will look to become the fastest fighter in history, male or female, to win world titles in three divisions when she faces Habazin for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION in her hometown of Flint.

Also participating in Tuesday’s workout was IBO Super Welterweight Champion Hannah Rankin, who competes in a non-televised undercard attraction next Saturday.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

In the televised co-feature on October 5, undefeated welterweight sensation Jaron Ennis will return to national television against once-beaten Demian Daniel Fernandez in a 10-round bout. In the SHOWTIME opener, undefeated heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will face once-beaten Pavel Sour less than an hour from his hometown of Saginaw, Mich.

Here’s what the fighters had to say on Tuesday from the famed 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach:

CLARESSA SHIELDS, Undisputed Middleweight World Champion

“I love boxing and I love that I’m one of the women who is carrying the sport, making it bigger and more well known. We’re getting more respect.

“There are fighters out there who believe that they can beat me and that really motivates me. That’s why I train and put in the time that I do.

“I want to show everybody that I’m a truly great fighter. I can beat Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record of winning titles in three divisions in 10 fights instead of 12. Plus, I’m going backwards, not going up in weight, where there are better challenges for me.

“My performances will lead to bigger fights and bigger purses for me and my opponents. I’m just going to keep building my name and building my brand.

“With this fight against Habazin, I’m definitely going in looking for the knockout. If I get it in spectacular fashion, that will go viral and help push my career forward.

“It means everything to have this fight back in my hometown. I want to be the good news for Flint and make people smile. I’m happy to be bringing a fight back home while I’m still on top. I feel like Flint will be uplifted by that.

“Everyone back home is really excited for this event. It’s going to be a huge homecoming for me on October 5.

“Muhammad Ali has trained here at 5th Street Gym and every time I train here I feel like I’m in his presence. It makes me want to be even greater. He’s the GOAT and I’m going to be the GWOAT.

“Being here in Florida is great for the weight cut. I’ve been down here for nine weeks and it’s hot every day. I’m sweating and working hard and the pounds are just coming off.”

HANNAH RANKIN, IBO Super Welterweight Champion

“It’s fantastic to be in Florida training for this fight. Everything has been perfect and I’m feeling great.

“I’m really looking forward to October 5. Me and my opponent are going to put on a great show for fans for six rounds or as long as it lasts. I want to show them what women’s boxing is about.

“There are lots of exciting things in the cards for me after this fight. I’m ready to take on the top fighters and pursue world titles at 154-pounds. I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do.”

CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. IVANA HABAZIN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. IVANA HABAZIN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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Transcript Document

Dmitriy Salita
Thank you. I’d like to welcome all the media. We have a great night of action coming up on Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from the Dort Federal Event Center, Flint, Michigan, beginning at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT, Claressa Shields versus Ivana Habazin will headline a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION

The main event fighters will be joining us for today’s call to preview their clash for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World title. The undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields will look to make history once again by becoming the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion. She’s already a unified world champion at middleweight and super middleweight, just nine fights into her pro career.

She will have a tough challenge in the former world champion Ivana Habazin who is from Zagreb, Croatia, and she’s taking this fight very seriously and we’ll talk about her preparations in a little bit.

Tickets to the live event which is promoted by Salita Promotions can be purchased at Ticketmaster and the Dort Event Center box office.

I would now like to introduce Mr. Chris DeBlasio from SHOWTIME. The reason why we’re experiencing such a big growth on other platforms for women’s boxing and obviously on SHOWTIME is because SHOWTIME believes in Claressa and believes in women’s boxing.

It’s Claressa’s sixth fight on SHOWTIME and we are very blessed and honored to have this fight on this premium network. I’d like to introduce Mr. Chris DeBlasio to talk about the event.

Chris DeBlasio
Thank you, Dmitry. I appreciate that. So on behalf of Stephen Espinoza who is the man behind our support of the sport and of the women’s division in particular; and Gordon Hall, our executive producer who is the co-founder of ShoBox, our popular prospect-oriented series, and he’ll executive produce this SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION as well, I just want to say how proud we are to be part of the event. We know it’s going to be a special one, a homecoming in Flint, Michigan.

As you alluded to, SHOWTIME has a long history of featuring the best in women’s combat sports, from Laila Ali and Christy Martin in boxing from years ago to Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in mixed martial arts more recently.

Since 2017, with Claressa Shields leading the way, we have these elite women boxers; Shields, Christina Hammer, Katie Taylor has appeared on the network and Amanda Serrano in several fights. Shields versus Habazin will be our eleventh women’s boxing bout since 2017 on the network. Shields led the way. In 2017, we presented the first women’s main event in premium television history when Claressa fought against Szilvia Szabados on ShoBox.

This event, October 5, we will support with a raft of digital content, short-form content to introduce and to advance the fighters that are going to be featured in the live event. That has become a signature for our network. A series being prepared right now is called THE RISE. It’s three parts and it is on various champions and fighters coming up. This one will be about Claressa Shields and her rise to the level that she’s at today and what the future holds.

RING RESUME is a detailed analysis and highlights of Shields’ biggest bouts to date; and another very in-depth and intimate feature called THE APPROACH, an in-depth look at the mindset of the fighters. These are found on YouTube and across all SHOWTIME Boxing social platforms. It’s something we’re really proud of and we think advances the appreciation and the fandom of these fighters to the casual and hardcore boxing fans.

We’re proud. We’re honored to be in business with Claressa Shields. As you said, Dmitry, this is her seventh appearance on SHOWTIME, each a seemingly more important bout. This is another potential history-making event, but she’s fighting a very tough competitor, someone who’s looking to make a statement here on SHOWTIME.

So we’re looking forward to a terrific contest and a great main event along with some terrific co-feature bouts. Jaron Ennis and Jermaine Franklin are going to try to showcase themselves and make important statements on the network also in tough competition.

So with that, I’ll turn it back over to you. I appreciate the time and the opportunity to be part of it. Thank you.

D. Salita
Thank you, Chris. Claressa has a star team inside and outside the right. She is managed by one of the best in the boxing business, Mr. Mark Taffet who I’d like to invite to make a few comments.

Mark Taffet
Thanks, Dmitry, and thanks, Chris, for joining us today. We started a few years ago with Claressa Shields and it’s on her broad shoulders that women’s boxing is receiving the recognition, the accolades and the growth that it’s experienced over the past few years.

Every time Claressa fights, we look to make history, and October 5 will be perhaps the greatest night of her professional career to date as she attempts to win the title in her third weight division faster than any man or woman in the history of sports. And the incredible thing is that in Claressa’s case, she’s doing it upside down. She’s going down in weight from 168 to 160 and now to 154. It’s going to be a very, very special night. It’s a very, very special and memorable for women’s boxing.

We’re thrilled that the big events are happening and Claressa loves the role that she plays in the continued ascension of the sport and to all of her goals going forward. Thanks for joining us and I’ll turn it back to Dmitry.

D. Salita
Thank you, Mark. Now, I’d like to introduce Ivana Habazin who is not really known in the United States, but in the official press conference announced the fight she came here and she has made a great appearance and was very confident. She’s definitely putting that confidence into her work.

She’s 20 and 3. She’s the former Welterweight World Champion. She’s from Zagreb, Croatia, but she’s been in camp in Colombia and now in Detroit. She’s gotten the best possible training expert for this fight and she has boxed with the world champions and fighters who are the best in their regions.

So I’d like to invite Ivana to talk about her preparations and what we can expect from her. Ivana?

Ivana Habazin
Hello, everyone. Thank you for having me. So my training camp this time was really long, like four months. I’m always in training, always ready and prepared, but this training camp was the hardest ever. I feel great, I feel in shape, I’m healthy. Sparring was good.

I have Raquel Miller in the camp. I have Chris Namus and Tnaja Ovsenik, and I will have Kali Reis next week too, plus I have two teammates from Colombia, one was like five times Colombia national champion. So they really pushed me and that was really, really hard.

I’ve never sparred hard before like this and I feel ready. I’m really confident and I’m coming to win. This preparation makes me much more confident that October 5 is going to be my night.

Q
How does Claressa compare to Cecilia Braekhus?

I. Habazin
I actually can’t compare Claressa and Cecilia because they are totally different fighters and I’m a totally different fighter. And I think that Claressa is definitely a tougher fighter than Cecilia and so physically she’s stronger than Cecilia. So she’s more aggressive and I think this fight is going to be tough. But like I said, I was never prepared like I am prepared now.

So I think maybe this fight for me – I will not tell you it’s going to be easier than the fight with Cecilia, but today I am a more complete boxer than I was before. And I have James Ali Bashir as my coach and we all know that he is definitely the best coach and I learned some new stuff and I’m ready to show that.

Q
How do you expect the weight drop for Claressa to affect her?

I. Habazin
This is really hard to say for me because I never in my life lost so much weight. So that depends on the fighter, how she’s going to prepare or what she eats. She has nutrition and all this stuff. But I really hope that it’s not going to be so effective on her, but maybe it will be because that was a lot of weight to lose. So we’re going to see. I don’t think about that because she’s young, she’s hungry. She likes to fight and she likes to win, which is the most important. She has the mind of a champion. So I think even though she needs to lose the weight, I’m not going to be a problem for her.

Q
What are your thoughts on fighting Claressa in her hometown? If the fight is close and it goes to the scorecards, what are your thoughts on that?

I. Habazin
I really don’t think about that the fight is in Flint. It’s not something important for me, where the fight is. For me, the only important thing is to win, and she’s the biggest name right now in women’s boxing and I want to beat her, that’s all, because I have 10 years in boxing and it wasn’t easy. My world was really tough and right now maybe it’s the last opportunity to do something big and I take it seriously and I’m 100% ready. So I’m not a person who’s going to let other stuff affect me. I have my goals and that’s all.

Q
What’s the difference between the fighter that you are now and the fighter that you were when you fought Cecilia Braekhus?

I. Habazin
Actually, it would be stupid to say what I changed because then I will say what’s my plan, you know, so I will say you’re going to see that. I worked on totally different stuff with my coach and we’re going to show that.

Q
Where does the confidence come from in saying that you’re going to knock Claressa out when she has never even been beaten before?

I. Habazin
I think I can punch, you know, and the difference before was in some parts, I wasn’t finishing people. That was my problem. Right now it’s a different story and like I said, I made the best preparation ever. Never, ever before in my life did I do a preparation like this and I feel strong. I really feel strong and I think I have power to knock people out.

So for this fight, this is my goal. I don’t believe in the scorecards. So when you knock somebody out and especially in that big of a fight, that’s the only way how you can win. And I was really prepared for that all the time.

Q
What was your first reaction when you heard that the fight was going to be delayed for a couple of months?

I. Habazin
My first reaction was, ‘damn, I will not see my dogs for two more months.’ That’s boxing. Everything is possible. Maybe in some way, I maybe expect something like that, but you never know – everything is possible. Everybody can injure and all this stuff. So I prepared myself to stay in the camp, training more. Maybe with this, actually, she helped me because I feel I’m much better right now.

Q
When you go through a loss, what are some of the things you learned from it, and how does that strengthen you mentally having a loss on your record?

I. Habazin
Yes, that’s actually a good question. When I lost the first time, I didn’t think that I lost that fight, but it’s okay. And that was the most painful stuff ever in boxing for me because I give always a lot in boxing and when I suffered this first loss, it was like, ‘oh, my god, everything is done.’

But at that time, I was young still and I was only like three years in boxing but when I came back to train after this, I was ashamed. I came in the gym and everybody was watching me and said, ‘Oh, you lose’ and all this stuff. Nobody was supportive. So every day, almost for one month, every day I am telling myself, ‘You will come back. You will come back. You will come back.’

Even if I didn’t know when I will come back, if I even have a chance or no, but I trained more than ever. And that was actually the first time when I figured out what is professional boxing, because before that I didn’t realize all this stuff and I was focused more on my university.

And after that, I changed everything and then like a year after, I got the chance to fight for the IBF title in Belgium and I said, ‘okay, I’m going to Belgium,’ and that was the hometown of Sabrina Giuliani. So, I came. I won.

After, the fight with Cecilia actually came too early because we didn’t have a chance to make a defense. My sponsor wasn’t supportive for me, so I have two options, to fight with Cecilia for a unification fight — it was the first unification fight in the history — or I can leave the title because I didn’t have logistics for defending my title.

So when I accept that fight, in some way, I knew that I can’t beat her because I didn’t have experience. And like one and a half months before the fight, I had one surgery too, so actually I wasn’t in my best shape and I wasn’t good. So maybe that fight I didn’t take very painful like the fight against Eva Bajic when she beat me.

And the fight against Mikaela Lauren, it was like two years after Cecilia. That was my first offer for the fight after three years and this actually was very, very tough for me because I was without fights. I was without money. I was in the gym actually in the underground when there was like one room without windows and I got the offer and I said, ‘Okay, I want to fight.’ But all preparation, I was so, so bad.

When we made pad work, I couldn’t be one minute on the pad because I would get tired. My heart would start beating so fast and I was thinking, ‘okay, maybe it’s because I start training too much too early.’ But actually, it was that I was so, so sick. And when I came to the fight, I knew before I needed to step in the ring, I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be good because I knew it – I don’t have power. My body didn’t have power, nothing, and I just said, ‘Okay, god, please save me, I want to be healthy when this fight is finished.’

But after that, I took a break from boxing for like six months and I said I will never box again. So after six months, I wake up one night and it was like 2 a.m. and I go back, I don’t know why, I hear some voice that told me, ‘Go and see the BoxRec.’ And I go to BoxRec and I saw Eva Bajic and I said, ‘Who is Eva Bajic? I never fought with her.’ And then I go and I saw that Eva came back after two years or two and a half.

And I said, ‘okay, you need to go back in the gym. You need to come back.’ And when I come back in the gym, I start training and the old symptoms – what I had in preparation for Mikaela Lauren – started again. It was very bad because I had like some cardiac – you know, my heart starts beating so fast. I was sweating all the time and I didn’t have power.

When I met medical, they said, ‘You have a thyroid problem and if you want to box again, you need to go in surgery immediately.’ I didn’t think about that, I said, ‘okay, let’s go,’ because I want to come back. And in 2017, I made two easy fights then came the offer for the IBO title. I said I want to fight. Even in that fight, I wasn’t 100% healthy because it was like one, one and half year to get healthy, but I made it.

And now, I can say that right now I am really, really 100% healthy. I am prepared and I am motivated more than ever because when I come back, I said I need to be not 100%, but I need to be 500% and I want to change something. I want to change my life. So right now, I think this is the right chance.

Q
You mentioned this was maybe your last big chance. Many people will say that a fighter with nothing to lose is the most dangerous opponent and perhaps we saw that with Otto Wallin. Do you feel you’re in this position that makes you dangerous?

I. Habazin
Yes, definitely, and I said that before the fight. I don’t have nothing to lose right now. I only can change everything and if not now, then when? So I’m ready, I’m 100% ready. I’m really focused on that. Four months I was training only for that fight, so we’re going to see what’s going to happen.

Like I said, this is boxing. One punch can change everything. You can be good all fight, but you can finish on the floor in the last second. So everything is possible. Claressa is a great fighter, but I believe in myself and that’s it.

D. Salita
Thank you. This is also a time when we have two superstar trainers in both of the fighter’s corners. I think it’s the first time in women’s boxing with Ali Bashir training Ivana Habazin and John David Jackson training Claressa Shields. So that’s going to be a very interesting test of stars as well.

Ivana, would you like to finish up with any closing statements?

I. Habazin
Yes, I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. I’m really happy because of that and at the end, actually, I really want for people to enjoy a good fight. So the better [fighter] is going to win and that’s all. I hope that’s going to be me. But I wish good luck to Claressa.

D. Salita
Thank you, Ivana. Now, I’d like to introduce Claressa Shields. Claressa, in her last fight headlined the biggest fight in women’s boxing history and put on a tremendous performance.

She really could have fought anywhere she wanted. We had offers from some big venues in Las Vegas, New York, Atlantic City, elsewhere throughout the country, but Claressa made her point to come back to Flint to give this fight back to the fans and the community she grew up in.

I want to list some of her accomplishments even though I know that most of you know them. She is 9-0 with 2 KOs since turning pro three years ago and will represent her town of Flint, Michigan on October 5.

She’s the first American boxer male or female in the history of the sport to win two Olympic gold medals. She became the sixth fighter in history, male or female, to unify all four major world titles in one weight class. She defeated Christina Hammer in the previous fight in April to earn that honor.

Claressa Shields has accomplished a lot in her life in boxing and as a humanitarian, as a role model, but she will be achieving her first on October 5 because it will be the first time that she’s going to be fighting as a professional in her hometown in Flint, Michigan. So Claressa, talk about your training camp, getting down in weight and how you’re preparing for this fight?

Claressa Shields
Yes, yes. Well, weight is not a conversation that I want to have. I don’t have a problem with my weight. If I did, I wouldn’t want to go down to 154 and accept this challenge. So weight is not a problem.

This camp and every camp, we just want to be a better version of myself. So, me and Coach John David Jackson said with the Hammer fight, we just want to fix a lot of mistakes. Now I know people on here are like, “How many mistakes did you make during the Hammer fight?” A lot, even though it was a unanimous decision, I beat her almost every round, it was still that me and my team having the mentality that we want to fix everything going into the fight with Ivana.

She has faster hands than Hammer. She’s coming from a lower weight class. She’s more comfortable with 154 and of course I’m losing weight. We want to get a knock out.

So the combinations are good. The jab was good against Hammer. We’ve just been working a lot of punches, making sure that we’re throwing our straights over, making sure that we’ll be pacing with our straight and make sure that we just have more precisions for this camp.

So it’s one hard camp. My body is kind of torn apart right now two weeks from the fight, but one more hard week of training and then the last week I get to wind down. So right now I feel really great.

Q
You’ve obviously shown a tremendous chin during your career and she said she’s going to knock you out, I just wonder what you think of that?

C. Shields
She’s going to say a whole lot. I think she called me fat. Many girls in boxing say they can knock me out and I do have a healthy chin and I like to go in and test every girl’s chin and everything like that.

So I respect that she’s coming with that kind of attitude, but, no, it’s not even possible to knock me out. I may have been dropped by Hanna Gabriels, but that was a shot with me off balance. It wasn’t something that hit my chin then I went down and I was woozy or like that. I’ve never been stung by a woman nor man. So Ivana is just talking.

Q
Did you happen to see her fight with Cecilia Braekhus?

C. Shields
There was a whole bunch of bouncing around. They both were off balance throwing their shot.

Ivana likes to put her head down and just throw punches. Whenever she feels like she’s in danger, she just goes in to a straight bull mode and puts her head down and start pulling in. So you have to use a really good jab against her.

I kind of feel like towards the end of the round, Ivana kind of tries to stay in and do a whole lot of holding, and dancing and pulling itself like that. But early on she tried to stand her ground and used her combinations, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before. I know for a fact I’m a lot stronger than Cecilia Braekhus so Ivana is going to have a lot of problem on her hands come October 5.

Q
How satisfying would it be to get this knockout in your hometown and have another history-making performance for you?

C. Shields
I just kind of feel like it’s not so much about the knockout, it’s about improvement to me. A knockout is great, but at the same time, I want to go in there and I want to look phenomenal. I want to be sharp. I want to work on everything that I worked on in camp and be able to execute it in the fight.

So I’m not going out there looking for the knockout, but I know that it’s going to come just because of how training has been going. I’ve been hurting my sparring partners with body shots and head shots. I’m doing this coming down in weight and my body is sore too.

It’s sore too, I’m breaking my body down and it’s getting stronger as I break you down, and I can feel going there and boxing in the eighth round and be strong and safe, and be able to do everything that I want to do and let my combinations go and let my hard body shots, the hard head shots still be explosive towards the end of the round.

So just knowing that, I feel like the knockout is going to come. But I’m not going to go out there trying to rush it, I just want it come. So I want to go out there and do everything that I’ve been working on in camp, and I believe everything is going to come together.

Q
Based on what you said earlier in the call, Claressa, were you happy with your performance against Christina Hammer?

C. Shields
I’m my biggest critic. That fight I was happy I became undisputed champion. But when I went back and watched the fight, to me, I made so many mistakes. I was like, “Oh, cut it off,” like I’m just like, “I’m over it,” you know what I mean? Like, I did really well, but I was just like, “Why didn’t you get the knock-out? Why were you not sending out all your shots when you should have sent out all your shots?” and just stuff like that.

For me, it’s just I’ve always been super hard on myself. So I give myself maybe a B minus for that fight, but I want to get an A. I want to do everything right in a fight and even get a knockout, or have it so I was just destroying her in every round, destroying her, destroying her and I’ll take her confidence away from her and I’ll hurt her.

I made some mistakes and she caught me with not even a whole lot of shots, but just the fact that she caught me with a shot that I shouldn’t have gotten hit with. It feels like that. But that is just me, my biggest critic, and me wanting to get better.

So everybody else tells you like “That was the best fight that we’ve ever seen and your defense is on point.” But I’ve known how to do all that stuff. I’ve known that I had defense. I’ve known that I could jab. I know what I could do. I just want to do it the best way that I know I can.

I watched it 40, 50 times. But each time I watch it, I’m seeing a different mistake and it wasn’t something huge, but it’s still just like, “This shouldn’t happen because we worked on it at camp.” It wasn’t a whole bunch, but it was just like just stuff that I see that maybe you guys don’t see.

Q
Do you feel that maybe if they change the rounds from two minutes to three minutes, you would have about three or four knockouts?

C. Shields
Yes, absolutely. Also the refs are super hard on me and It feels like they will not call the fight when I’m hurting these girls.

I can roll back and look at the fight where I fought against Sydney LeBlanc. I put her through eight rounds of hell and they just let her take that and maybe destroyed her as a fighter. She doesn’t want to fight since I beat her. And she came into the fight – me and her, she came down from light heavyweight to fight at 168 and I mean, I destroyed her from the first bell of the first round to the last bell of the eighth.

She never even landed more than 10 punches on me the whole fight and they didn’t even call it. So it’s like with three minutes, I will have a lot more time to break the girls down and be able to get them out there because I’ve hurt every girl that I fought. So as soon as those two minutes ring and it’s the end of the round, and they get that one minute rest, they come back in recuperated and ready to go in the next round. So you have to kind of start all over again.

But would it be in two minutes, I just got to I guess pick up the pace until they actually see that women boxing needs to be the same as the men, or at least give us three minutes a round so we can have the same amount of work time.

Q
Would that be a goal of yours to possibly push to three-minute rounds for one of your future fights?

C. Shields
Yes, absolutely. Me and my team have been going over, we’re just trying to figure out what’s the best way to go to the organizations about it. We don’t know if we want to go over and tell them, “Hey, maybe we could start off with 10 three-minute rounds, or maybe we can start off with 12 two-minute rounds.”

We’re just still going to try to figure it out and try to go with the best way to where it’s safe for the other world champions and also see what they agree with. I’m going to have a talk with all the girls who are world champions to kind of like have a vote on what they want to do because this is not just about me, I want it to about the other women too what they’re comfortable with.

I think the thing to understand is that women will always get paid less than the men unless we fight the same amount of time. So with that, one of the change that got to be made is either 12 two-minute rounds or 10 three-minute rounds.

I think that one of those has to change within this year to get us on the road to equal pay and equal opportunity as far as getting the big knockouts that we can get.

Q
Have you thought someone that you thought might be using PED’s when you fought them as a pro?

C. Shields
Yes, I’m not going to do that. Honestly, I don’t know. I wanted a VADA testing for Hammer. For some reason, we didn’t have it for that fight. But I wanted VADA testing for that fight, but we didn’t get it.

I’m happy that there’s VADA testing for this fight. But I think every world champion should be doing VADA testing especially after Mia St. John came out talking about she was on PEDs her whole career and all this craziness. I think that every world champion, male and female, should be open to do VADA testing because it’s just safer for the boxers and I think that they should be clean.

I’ve always been a clean athlete and I’m not going to say who I think do PEDs, I really don’t know. I hate to have to feel it’s been out there because I don’t know. People think “I just need this,” but I’m just strong because I work my ass off.

Q
What do you think you need to accomplish in order to be deemed the best female boxer of all time?

C. Shields
I think I’ve already accomplished everything to be the best female boxer of all time. But I think that some of the fans or media people may feel like you have to have 25 and 30 fights to be compared to Laila Ali. So I’m just taking my time, I’m racking up the belts and racking up the divisions and making history.

I’ll always be the world’s best and nobody is ever going to make me feel different about that unless somebody comes and beat me, and that’s not going to happen. So I’m going to keep breaking records and doing what no other woman has done.

If I feel great on 154, maybe we’ll stay on 154 and try to become undisputed there. Then if not, maybe I’ll just be looking to that160. I’m always going to go where the best fighter is and the toughest fighters are at, and try to make the most money.

Q
Do you think the nine fights that you’ve had is a better resume than o all the other female boxers in the sport?

C. Shields
Definitely, and that’s talking about the female of boxers, but the male boxers too. Male boxers have people their record is literally padded up so that you are about 20-0, right? 20 or 15-0 and they got padded records against easy opponents.

I haven’t fought against a person who’s had a losing record ever in my pro career, I think someone did the math and it was like 125 wins and seven losses all my opponents together so they’d be able to say that is a nice fight. Well, other boxers, male or female, say fought fighters like that. I haven’t fought against a fighter who has a losing record yet.

Q
Would you like to fight a male fighter in the future if you have opportunities?

C. Shields
I feel like right now I’m just going to fight in women’s boxing right now, trying to get an equal pay. I don’t feel like I should have to fight a man in order for us to be taken as serious athletes.

I’ve gotten in the ring with plenty of men. I fought 16 rounds this week with men, four different sparring partners. I can get in there with guys and I’m going to hold my own, and I know when it comes down to handling my business, I’ve never been knocked out by someone, or dropped, or anything like that.

So I don’t think there’s a difference between women and male fighters. That feels like it’s all about preparation. If you feel like if you have to get ready to fight again, if I have to be ready to fight against the male, I would change my whole training. I think I’m training hard until now.

But to get ready for a man, I would definitely upgrade and I think I have a great team who makes sure that I’m at my strongest, that I’m explosive, that my legs are strong and my muscles are strong. I feel like men have better body endurance than women and I say that because they’ve been fighting so long for so many more rounds in men than women just throughout my whole career.

Like even in amateurs, we’ve got four two-minute rounds; and the men, they have three three-minute rounds. And now in a pro, I’ve only fought 10 two-minute rounds; and men who are world champions have fought 12 three-minute rounds, so I don’t know how long. So when you have that, they just have a better body endurance than I think women do. But I think it’s all about the preparation.

Q
What does fighting in front of your home town friends mean to you especially with all that you’ve accomplished? And did you think that you would get this homecoming fight sooner in your career or later in your career?

C. Shields
No, I feel like that the fight came at the right time. I wanted to be super accomplished when I went back home to Flint and that’s just because I want the kids to see that like I’m from Flint, Michigan and I have accomplished all this. I’m not waiting for the end of my career to come back to Flint, I’m coming back and I’m going back to Flint in the peak of my career.

I’m going back while I’m the world champion, while I’m the undisputed champion, while I’m breaking records. I’m bringing the fight back to Flint and I feel like me becoming a three- time division world champion, the best time to do so is now. I feel like that was the perfect fight to bring back to Flint while we have all these other fights that are going on. I just feel like right now is the right time to just inspire the city and inspire the kids.

Q
In this fight being your first fight at 154 pounds or really your first world title fight at that weight class, is this sort of the start of a journey to maybe try to do the same thing as you did at 160 and unified the entire division, or is this sort of a one-time deal at 154 and then move back up to middleweight?

C. Shields
I don’t really know yet. I feel like it really depends on how I feel doing the fight. I feel great right now. I’ve been doing great in camp. I’ve been eating healthy and dropping the weight the way that I’m supposed to. I’m dehydrated.

So it’s all about going into the fight, actually catching 154, getting on the scale and getting in the ring. So what I’m going to do there is going to fight.
.
Q
How does that impact your performance in the sport also having another really big visible job as a role model?

C. Shields
I’m only 24 years old and I think that women’s boxing has been quiet long enough. I feel like we haven’t got our due just because we haven’t spoken up enough about it.

I feel like there are women who did speak about it, but they’ve spoken about it in the wrong way like they just came up at people the wrong way and it’s more of like a “I’ve got the skills to pay the bill. I’ve got the power to knock people over.” And I’m not just talking to impress like I would go in there and try to do it. I’ll really just try to go in there and do whatever I say, and I feel like I’ve been putting on performances that even men aren’t putting on.

So I don’t really feel the need to have to be quiet and has to be whatever they call lady-like. Like I’m a lady and I spoke a lady, and I’m going to do what I want to do and that makes me feel good at night. The day that you can hear me not talking, something is wrong. So I’m going to do what I want to do.

As far as me being a role model, I feel like I’m a great role model like you don’t see me in the newspaper talking about like killing nobody or going to jail. I hadn’t been arrested. You don’t see me drinking so I feel like I’m a great role model and I just want to tell everybody to be who they are, and don’t try to pretend to be somebody you’re not for social media or for cameras.

You’ll never have to keep lying about who you’re not. So it’s about me being comfortable with myself and just being who I am and doing what I’m most comfortable doing. And I feel like I’m being a great role model if I’m doing that because a lot of girls look up to me and they say, “You being so confident makes me confident,” so why would I stop being confident.

CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. IVANA HABAZIN RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Showtime Boxing Special Edition

CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. IVANA HABAZIN RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5
LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Shields Fights To Become Three-Division World Champion In Hometown Debut From Dort Federal Event Center In Flint, Mich.

SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® Live At 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Tickets on Sale TODAY at 2 p.m. ET!

NEW YORK – August 6, 2019 – 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.

“From Christy Martin and Laila Ali to Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey, and now Claressa Shields, SHOWTIME has long been the pioneer in women’s combat sports,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “Without question, Claressa Shields is the face of women’s boxing and we’re excited to present yet another historic milestone in her career as she looks to capture a third division championship in record time. This is Claressa’s sixth appearance on SHOWTIME and yet another test as she continues her personal quest to become the greatest of all time.”

“With the new date, this fight is going to be even more significant,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Claressa has had time to get 100 percent healthy and in the best shape of her life as she goes down in weight to fight for another historic accomplishment. On the other hand, Ivana has used this extra time to prepare for Claressa both mentally and physically. She has remained in camp throughout the summer as she prepares to come to America to upset Claressa and fulfill what she feels is her destiny. It’s going to be two fighters at the top of their games.”

“October 5 will be a magnificent event for Claressa Shields, for women’s boxing, and for Claressa’s hometown city of Flint,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “Claressa continues to shine a beacon of light on the sport, making history in each and every fight and reaching levels previously unimaginable. She is a once in a lifetime athlete and young woman, and if she is victorious on October 5 she will become the fastest man or woman in boxing history to win a world title in a third weight division.”

Barry Tompkins will call the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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

UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION CLARESSA SHIELDS SUSTAINS MINOR INJURY IN TRAINING;

UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION CLARESSA SHIELDS SUSTAINS MINOR INJURY IN TRAINING; BID TO BECOME THREE-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION AGAINST IVANA HABAZIN TO BE RESCHEDULED FOR FALL

Main photo Credit- Stephanie Trapp-Showtime

A minor injury in training has forced undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields to suspend training and postpone her bid to become the fastest fighter in boxing history, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

Shields injured her knee doing roadwork early this week, while preparing to take on former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO Super Welterweight Championship on Saturday, August 17, at the Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown of Flint, Mich., and televised live nationally on SHOWTIME.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) says she looks forward to resuming training and having the fight take place this fall.

“There’s nothing I love to do more than boxing, and I train hard for all of my fights. It’s going to be tough for them to keep me out of the gym for a few weeks,” said undisputed champion Claressa Shields. “But I will heal quickly and then go to training camp, so I can make history in front of all my fans in the fall. I can promise you this – I’ll be training harder than ever soon again, and I will provide a spectacular performance and make history for everyone in attendance and for the viewers on SHOWTIME.”

Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says a new date for the fight is already being hammered out, as he works feverishly behind the scenes.

“Claressa will bounce back quickly,” said Salita. “Unfortunately, training injuries are part of the sport. A great champion like her will take it in stride and move forward to the new fight date we are currently working to finalize. The fight will be rescheduled for the fall and we will announce the new date shortly.”

UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION CLARESSA SHIELDS FIGHTS TO BECOME THREE-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION IN HOMETOWN DEBUT AGAINST IVANA HABAZIN

Sho Boxing Special Edition

UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION CLARESSA SHIELDS FIGHTS TO BECOME THREE-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION IN HOMETOWN DEBUT AGAINST IVANA HABAZIN SATURDAY, AUGUST 17 LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Shields and Habazin Meet for WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship From Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® Live At 9 p.m. ET/PT

Tickets on Sale Thursday, June 20 at 3 p.m. ET!

NEW YORK – June 11, 2019 – 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.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Ticket for the live event go on sale Thursday, June 20 at 3 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 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.”

“Without question, Claressa Shields is the face of women’s boxing and we’re excited to present yet another historic milestone in her career as she looks to capture a third division championship in record time,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “From the amateurs to the pros, Claressa has faced the best opposition available and won every test in dominant fashion. With a victory over Habazin in her sixth appearance on SHOWTIME, Claressa will further solidify herself as the top female fighter in boxing and continue her personal quest to become the greatest of all time.”

“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.”

“August 17 will be a magnificent event for Claressa Shields, for women’s boxing, and for Claressa’s hometown city of Flint,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “Claressa continues to shine a beacon of light on the sport, making history in each and every fight and reaching levels previously unimaginable. She is a once in a lifetime athlete and young woman, and if she is victorious on August 17 she will move one step closer to realizing her dreams by becoming the fastest man or woman in boxing history to win a world title in a third weight division.”

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 world’s attention will be on women’s’ sports this summer with two of its’ biggest events in the FIFA women’s World Cup, which is just getting started, and another Shields’ blockbuster event happening in August,” added Salita. “We’re continuing our goal of advancing the state of women’s sports to new heights and Claressa’s greatness helps make this happen.”

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

CELEBRATION OF CLARESSA SHIELDS TO BE HELD SATURDAY IN HOMETOWN OF FLINT, MICHIGAN

Salita Promotions.jpg1

CELEBRATION OF CLARESSA SHIELDS TO BE HELD SATURDAY IN HOMETOWN OF FLINT, MICHIGAN

Undisputed Middleweight Champion Shields To Be Honored in Hometown After Defeating Previously Unbeaten Christina Hammer in SHOWTIME Main Event Saturday, April 13

Saturday, April 27 at Berston Field House –
Doors Open at 3 p.m. ET – Event Begins at 6 p.m. ET

Read More HERE from MLive.com

Undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields will be honored in Flint, Michigan this Saturday, April 27 as her hometown recognizes her achievements inside and outside of the ring.

“I’m so proud of Claressa for all she has accomplished in her young career and no one is more deserving of being honored by their hometown,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions, who promotes Shields. “Through every step of her life Claressa has been a role model in Flint and all around the world. This is an exciting day for Claressa and Flint and we can’t wait to see her continue to achieve all of her dreams.”

“Claressa Shields is an undisputed champion of women’s boxing in the ring, but even more importantly, she’s an undisputed champion for the people of Flint, Michigan every day outside the ring,” said Mark Taffet, Shields’ Manager. “I’m so proud of Claressa and what she stands for, and I’m thrilled she will have such a special day on Saturday.”

Shields most recently defeated previously unbeaten Christina Hammer on April 13 in arguably the most significant match in women’s boxing history. The 24-year-old won a unanimous decision live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey to become just the sixth fighter, male or female, to unify the WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO world titles.

The only fighter male or female to win two Olympic gold medals in boxing, Shields has been outspoken in raising awareness for her hometown and will be honored at an event that includes food, DJ, a bounce house for children and other activities. The first 250 people entering the event will receive a free autographed photo of Shields.

WHERE: Berston Field House
3300 Saginaw St.
Flint, MI 48505

WHEN: Saturday, April 27*
3:00 p.m. ET – Doors Open
6:00 p.m. ET – Event begins
*Parking is free but limited near Berston Field House

CLARESSA SHIELDS CROWNED UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION WITH NEAR-SHUTOUT VICTORY OF CHRISTINA HAMMER SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®

Shields Hammer Header.png1
CLARESSA SHIELDS CROWNED UNDISPUTED MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION WITH NEAR-SHUTOUT VICTORY OF CHRISTINA HAMMER SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®

Catch An Encore Presentation Monday At 10 P.M. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME®

Shields Defeats Hammer Credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime

                                         All Photo Credits- Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

ATLANTIC CITY (April 13, 2019) – 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 on SHOWTIME in arguably the most significant women’s boxing match in history. The judges scored the fight 98-92 and 98-91 twice.

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.

 

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Christina Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs), who owned the WBO belt entering the fight, had her jab largely neutralized and her defense exploited from start to finish. Shields landed a remarkable 44% of her power punches and landed on 112 total punches compared to just 49 for Hammer. As impressive as her offense was, Shields’ defense and head movement was immaculate as Hammer was able to connect on just 13% of her total punches, 11% of her jabs and 18% of her power shots.

Speaking to SHOWTIME’s Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood following the historic night for women’s boxing, the outspoken and emotional Shields held nothing back.

“I am the greatest woman of all time,” said Shields, who nearly earned a stoppage during a barrage 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. 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.

“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.”

Fresh off the biggest win of her professional career, the newly-crowned undisputed champion of the world already has her sights set on another opponent.

“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.”

“I didn’t fight very good or fast,” said a subdued 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.”

“I think tonight’s fight will go down in the history books as an epic battle with the likes of Ali-Frazier, Leonard-Hearns and De La Hoya-Trinidad,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “With this dominating and captivating performance to become crowned undisputed middleweight champion coupled with her list of record-breaking accomplishments, Claressa Shields is well on her way to being as revered as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Serena WIlliams, Michael Jordan, Pele and others at the top of their game.”

In the co-featured bout, Jermaine Franklin (18-0, 13 KOs), widely regarded as the top American heavyweight prospect, kept his unbeaten record intact with a 10-round unanimous decision over former No. 1-ranked U.S. amateur Rydell Booker (25-2, 12 KOs). The judges scored the fight 99-91 and 98-91 twice.

The 25-year-old Franklin dictated the tempo throughout and was far more active and aggressive than his 38-year-old counterpart. Booker had his moments, particularly in the early rounds when he landed several flush power shots but the youthful Franklin pulled away in the second half of the fight as Booker tired and Franklin targeted the body. Franklin averaged 54 punches per round to Booker’s 35 and led 146-94 in overall punches landed.

“I think I had a decent performance,” said the Saginaw, Mich. native. “There’s some stuff I could work on. I over-crowded myself a little bit and I was a little over-anxious. He had a lot more experience than me and used it to his advantage. He could see what I was doing.

undercard Shields Hammer credit Stephaine Trapp Showtimeundercard Shields Hammer credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime.png franklinundercard Shields Hammer credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime.png franklin .png2

“I learned to stay more patient because I had him hurt a few times, but once I got over-anxious, my whole game plan went out the window. I started messing up and making crazy mistakes I shouldn’t have. Now it’s back to the drawing board to work on my mistakes and come out bigger and badder next time.”

“I felt he out-hustled me, but it was a lot closer than how the judges scored it,” said Booker. “He was missing me a lot more than it looked. I slipped a lot of shots and hit him clean.

“I knew he would bring the pressure, but he needs a lot of work. He stays too centered with his head. He’s alright. What he has on his side is youth. I’d rate my performance about a seven. I had a training camp injury I was dealing with. I’m going to stay active and come back stronger than ever.”

In the telecast opener, undefeated top-five ranked heavyweight prospect Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs, 1 ND) and Baltimore’s Nick Kisner (21-4-1, 6 KOs, 1 ND) had their 10-round bout cut short when the two heavyweights clashed heads in the opening round. Wallin suffered a gash on the side of his head while Kisner suffered a cut over his right eye, hindering his ability to see. At the advice of the ringside physician in between rounds one and two, referee Earl Brown stopped the fight, resulting in a no-decision.

At the time of the stoppage, Wallin led 14-3 in overall punches landed, 7-1 in jabs and 7-2 in power punches.

undercard Shields Hammer credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime.pngwallin

“To me, his cut didn’t look that bad,” said a disappointed Wallin, who was making his U.S. debut. “It’s a shame because I trained really hard for this fight and was looking to put on a show for fans in America. I just didn’t have time to get going.

“I’d like to get back in there soon and show what I can do. I’m going to take this as a learning experience.”

“I caught a headbutt and the referee came to me,” said Kisner. “He saw me swiping at my eye and said ‘can you see?’ I said, ‘soon as I get the blood out of my eye, sure.’

“I feel horrible after training so hard. I felt good in the first round. The judges probably gave him the first round, but I always take off the first round. I was feeling like I could get to him eventually. You saw me land my overhand right.”

Tonight’s live event was promoted by Salita Promotions.

An encore presentation of tonight’s tripleheader will air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available via the network’s On Demand platforms.

Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action alongside fellow Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez. World-renowned ring announcer and Hall of Famer Jimmy Lennon Jr. rounded out the telecast. The Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. CHRISTINA HAMMER FINAL WEIGHTS, QUOTES, PHOTOS

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CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. CHRISTINA HAMMER FINAL WEIGHTS, QUOTES, PHOTOS & COMMISSION OFFICIALS FOR UNDISPUTED WOMEN’S MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOMORROW ON SHOWTIME
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Live at 9:10 p.m. ET/PT from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City

Shields Hammer Weigh in Stephaine Trapp.png           Photo Credits Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Click HERE To Watch The Full Weigh-In: https://s.sho.com/2IgTZ0B

ATLANTIC CITY(April 12, 2019) – Undefeated middleweight champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer went face-to-face one final time during a tension-filled official weigh-in for the most significant event in women’s boxing history. Both fighters made weight as the two champions aim to become the undisputed middleweight champion tomorrow in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live on SHOWTIME (9:10 p.m. ET/PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Top American heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will take on former No. 1-ranked U.S. amateur Rydell Booker in the 10-round co-featured bout while undefeated Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin will battle highly decorated amateur Nick Kisner in a 10-round clash that will open the tripleheader.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $150, $100, $55 and $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at boardwalkhall.com.

OFFICIAL WEIGHTS:

IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO Middleweight World Championship – 10 Rounds
Claressa Shields: 159 ½ pounds
Christina Hammer: 159 pounds
Referee: Sparkle Lee; Judges: Lynne Carter (Pa.), Guido Cavalleri (Italy), Ruben Taylor (Ariz.)

Heavyweight Co-Feature – 10 Rounds
Jermaine Franklin: 245 ¼ pounds
Rydell Booker: 238 ¾ pounds
Referee: David Franciosi; Judges: Eugene Grant (N.J.), Alan Rubenstein (Pa.), James Kinney (N.J.)

Heavyweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Otto Wallin: 227 ¼ pounds
Nick Kisner: 221 pounds
Referee: Earl Brown; Judges: Eugene Grant (N.J.), Alan Rubenstein (Pa.), James Kinney (N.J.)

Click HERE for a Full Bout Sheet

FINAL QUOTES:

Claressa Shields

“I’m very relaxed. When I feel this relaxed, I know it’s going to be a good fight. I don’t even feel like there’s a fight; I feel very calm and I always fight better when I feel this way. I’ve checked all the boxes for this fight. The conditioning, the nutrition, the training, everything. I am entirely focused on the fight.

“I’ve played this fight in my head many times. The first round is a very important round. She’ll find out just how strong I am in the first round and I’m going to let her know she’s in with a fighter. I’m going to let her know she won’t control this fight in any aspect. I can outbox Hammer. I’m way faster and I have great head movement. I came to fight. I want to see where her heart is and how strong she is. If she’s not as strong as she says she is, she’s going to want to get out of there.

“Every time I box, I feel like I need to go out there and perform so that women’s boxing isn’t in the position we’re in now. I want the little girls coming up not to have to go through what I’ve gone through in terms of equal pay and trying to get on TV. I was able to box my way up to get here and it shouldn’t be as hard for other women to do the same. This fight is bigger than me.”

Christina Hammer

“I’ve worked really hard for this. I’ve sacrificed everything for this fight and it’s time to show who’s the real champion and who Christina Hammer is. I feel like I’m the stronger one, mentally. I showed her at the stare down that I’m not scared. Every fight, there’s a mental battle and I think I won the mental battle for this fight.

“I have to stick to my game plan and not worry about hers. Shields is beatable. Hanna Gabriels showed that. I have to make her pay for every mistake. We’ve analyzed her a lot and I’ve known for a long time that I would one day fight her.

“I’m not scared of her one bit. Why would I be scared of her? I worked really hard for this opportunity and now it’s the point where I have to show it. I have to focus in every single round. This will be a tough fight and I know my opponent also wants to win but on Saturday night, I will be the undisputed champion of the world.

“I hope that a lot of women will be inspired by this fight. I want women to know that if they work hard, they can make it to whatever level they aspire to be in whatever sport it is they do.”

Jermaine Franklin

“I always study my opponents and watch tape. I see a guy in Booker that likes to slow the pace and try to control the distance. I’m very active. I call myself a boxer-puncher, and I adjust my game plan depending on my opponent. I will capitalize on his weaknesses.

“I want to fight the best. That’s a mindset that I’ll always have, but I understand how boxing works and I might have to wait for my time. It’s a great time to be a heavyweight and I feel like it will be my time soon.

“I’m going to take him to the deep waters, and he may not be able to survive once I take him there.”

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Rydell Booker

“I’ve been boxing since I was seven years old. I’ve always had a passion for boxing and while I was away, I took care of my body and I always knew I wanted to fight again. I was able to do a little bit of training and did the best I could, but being in prison definitely wasn’t conducive to being a boxer.

“I have a gift that a lot of fighters don’t have. I have a good jab. I have the ability to be an effective counter-puncher and I can fight when I need to. Jermaine Franklin has never been in with somebody with the talent and experience that I have. I’m a better fighter than I was 15 years ago because I’m smarter and stronger mentally. My skills have not deteriorated at all and my body has been preserved.”

Otto Wallin

“I’ve been in New York for three years with Joey [Gamache]. I’m used to the training. To be fighting on such a big card, there’s a lot more press than I’m used to. There’s been a lot of interviews and press conferences and I can feel that this is a big event.

“Sweden needs a boxing superstar that stands out, and I want to be that person. I see good fighters in the heavyweight division. The top three fighters are really good. I want to take care of Saturday night, fight a couple more times this year and then next year I will be ready for a step-up in competition.”

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Nick Kisner

“I sought this fight. I asked for it. Wallin is good but I really like to challenge myself. I think he’s one of the best heavyweights out there. This is a great opportunity. I think it’s going to be a challenge but at the same time I think I can win this fight. It doesn’t get much bigger of an opportunity than to fight live on SHOWTIME.”

CLARESSA SHIELDS AND CHRISTINA HAMMER INSPIRE AND GIVE BACK TO ATLANTIC CITY YOUTH AT PAL GYM

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CLARESSA SHIELDS AND CHRISTINA HAMMER INSPIRE AND GIVE BACK TO ATLANTIC CITY YOUTH AT PAL GYM AHEAD OF SATURDAY’S MIDDLEWEIGHT UNIFICATION LIVE ON SHOWTIME FROM BOARDWALK HALL

CLARESSA SHIELDS AND CHRISTINA HAMMER INSPIRE AND GIVE BACK TO ATLANTIC CITY YOUTH AT PAL GYM11

All Photo Credits: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

“I want to inspire kids that come up in rough areas like I did. Boys and girls. I hope they look at me and think they can be a boxer…I hope they watch the fight on Saturday and really see that girls can box too.” – Claressa Shields

“This gives me hope for women’s boxing. This fight is changing everything. I hope these kids see that if they work hard enough, they can fight on SHOWTIME someday.” – Christina Hammer

ATLANTIC CITY (April 11, 2019) – Undefeated middleweight champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer spent the afternoon giving back to the Atlantic City community as they met with local youth from the New Jersey Give A Kid A Dream organization and the Girls in Gloves boxing program at the Atlantic City PAL gym. They spoke to the attendees about working hard, following your dreams and never giving up. The main event combatants were also joined by the Mayor of Atlantic City Frank Gilliam and other local dignitaries.

IBF, WBC and WBA Champion Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) will unify with WBO Champion Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) for the undisputed middleweight world championship this Saturday night, April 13 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City live on SHOWTIME (9:10pm ET/PT).

The winner will become only the second undisputed champion in women’s boxing history and only the sixth fighter – male or female – to unify all four recognized world titles.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $150, $100, $55 and $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at boardwalkhall.com.

Shields and Hammer spoke with media and the youth attendees ahead of their Saturday showdown:

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“Seeing the kids reminded me so much of the way I grew up. I grew up in a place just like this. It made me a little emotional.

“I told one of the girls that I hoped they gave me something to leave with and she said I gave them hope and I got a little shaky.

“I didn’t have a role model growing up. So it is a little weird to hear kids say that I am their role model. I am just trying to do a good job.

 

 

“I want to inspire kids that come up in rough areas like I did. Boys and girls. I hope they look at me and think they can be a boxer. There are girls that have signed up in boxing because they have seen me. I hope they watch the fight on Saturday and really see that girls can box too.

“I think there has been friendly action between us. It showed she is an ‘internet thug’ and that is it. I am going to let the media think she is a scary monster. I don’t think people know how big of a scary monster I can be in the ring and everyone will find out Saturday night.”

CHRISTINA HAMMER

“It was so nice that the kids were here today. We talked about boxing and sports. I hope I can inspire them to keep going in this sport. It is a great way to lift your life up and you learn a lot from a sport like this.

 

“This gives me hope for women’s boxing. This fight is changing everything. I hope they can see that if they work hard enough, they can also fight on SHOWTIME. This is a game changer and a great opportunity for future champions.

“I feel great. I have waited so long for this fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring and shine bright.”

DMITRIY SALITA

“The women are in excellent shape, are anxious to fight, but still took time to be here, which shows what kind of champions they are. Salita Promotions is looking forward to hosting a large group of kids from New Jersey Give A Kid A Dream Saturday night, making it even more special. It will be a great night of boxing.

“To be able to give back to the community in this way two days before an incredible night of boxing, makes me proud to be the promoter of this event.”

CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. CHRISTINA HAMMER NEW YORK MEDIA LUNCHEON QUOTES & PHOTOS

CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. CHRISTINA HAMMER NEW YORK MEDIA LUNCHEON QUOTES & PHOTOS

Hammer Shields Media luncheon Quotes Photos Credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime

                                     Photo Credits- Stephanie Trapp-Showtime 

 

“Hammer signed up for something she shouldn’t have signed up for. She’s going to get hurt on Saturday,” – Shields

“She can say whatever she wants here, because I’m going to show it in the ring on Saturday,” – Hammer

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Middleweight Champions Shields and Hammer Battle for Undisputed Women’s Middleweight World Championship This Saturday Live on SHOWTIME® from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City

NEW YORK (April 10, 2019) – Undefeated middleweight champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer went face-to-face in New York on Wednesday just three days before arguably the most significant event in women’s boxing history this Saturday live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

IBF, WBC and WBA Champion Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) will unify with WBO Champion Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) for the undisputed middleweight world championship. The winner will become only the second undisputed champion in women’s boxing history and only the sixth fighter – male or female – to unify all four recognized world titles.

Joining Shields and Hammer at Gallagher’s Steakhouse in Manhattan was unbeaten heavyweight contender Otto Wallin, who takes on Nick Kisner as part of the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader beginning at 9:10 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $150, $100, $55 and $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at boardwalkhall.com.

Shields and Hammer spoke with media and had a tense face-off as they near Saturday’s showdown. Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday:

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“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.

“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.

“I’m happy that everyone came out for this event and has supported it. This isn’t as big as women’s boxing can get, but it’s the beginning of something great.

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“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.

“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.

“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.

“I think she’s shook. She doesn’t want to say anything after all the social media talking she was doing. This is her time to say it to my face.

“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.

“I’m glad Hammer is here and we’re really going to fight. She’s tough, but I’ve beat girls way stronger, faster and taller than her over and over again. I can’t wait to do it again on Saturday.”

CHRISTINA HAMMER

“I’m so happy to be here and have this great opportunity. I can’t wait to get in the ring on Saturday and get all of these belts. I’m ready.

“I’m very confident and I can’t wait to show everyone why I’m 24-0 and been a champion for as long as I’ve been.

“She can say whatever she wants here, because I’m going to show it in the ring. I don’t like to talk too much. I’m here to show my skills in the ring and get all these belts.

“I’m emotionless in the ring, because it’s my job. None of her talk will affect me. When you’re emotional in the ring, you make mistakes.

“I know that it’s a risk to come from Germany to the U.S. to fight Shields. But I have done everything to bring it to her and break her down round-by-round. I want to show the people who the real champion is. A real champion fights everyone, all over the world.

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“I’m very focused. I know that this is a historic fight. There is only one champion who can take these belts and that will be me. I’ve given everything for that goal. I sacrificed day after day in camp to achieve that.

“I want to show that I’m the undisputed champion. I’m the longtime champion and I’m going to let the people see that women’s boxing is exciting just like the men. This is a great match to show that.

“We’re both undefeated and in our primes. People wanted to see this fight and they got this fight. All of the talk is over. Now it’s time to fight.”

OTTO WALLIN

“I come from a small town in Sweden and started boxing in a basement. I could never dream of making it here. I read about it, but it wasn’t attainable. Now I’m here and I’m ready to make a statement on Saturday.

“It’s very important to make an impression. This is a very big opportunity for me to be fighting on SHOWTIME in my first fight on the U.S. A lot of people will be watching and I want to put on a good performance. Most important is to get the win and take care of business.

“My opponent is smaller than me and I think that suits me well. He likes to be a little cute in the ring and I think he’ll try to be tricky early on. I want to establish my jab and my body work, because I know he won’t like those body shots. I’m going to break him down.

Wallin Hammer Shields Media luncheon Quotes Photos Credit Stephaine Trapp Showtime

“I have a good plan and a really good trainer. He’s prepared me well with good sparring. I think I’ll know what to do to stay focus. I’ve always been able to do that and focus on what’s best for me in the ring.

“It’s very nice to be here. I’m very happy to be on this show. It’s great for women’s boxing that the two best fighters are facing each other.”

DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions

“This promotion has lived up to the expectations. This is the biggest fight in women’s boxing history. It feels very big today and I’m sure in a month a day or a year after this fight, we will know that it was a historic event.

“SHOWTIME’s support for this fight has raised the awareness of women’s boxing for the fans in the U.S and around the world. I think women everywhere have benefited from the lead up to this fight.

“in the opener on SHOWTIME, world ranked heavyweight Otto Wallin will make his U.S. debut. Otto is an example of hard work and dreams coming true. He grew up in a small town in Sweden and had a dream to become world champion. He’s been training in New York Joey Gamache and we can’t wait for his fight Saturday.

“For a great fight to happen it takes two to tango. Hammer is a longtime world champion and a dominant force in the middleweight division. You have seen how prepared she is for this fight. It takes championship character to fly to another country to put it all on the line and she deserves respect for that.

“Claressa Shields has passed every test ever put in front of her. She has been dominant as a pro, winning a world title in her fourth fight a second division title in her sixth fight. April 13 will be her toughest test. This is a fight that she is taking very seriously and I’m excited to see her in the ring Saturday.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

“I want to acknowledge Claressa and Christina, because it’s easy to forget that this is a fight. That may sound strange, but it’s because there is so much discussion about the meaning and symbolism of this fight. You still have to remember, that beyond all that, these are two athletes preparing for a fight. They each want to win.

“Each of them has taken on the challenge of representing women’s boxing and that should not be overlooked. It would be very easy as a competitor to say that you’re not going to get into that extra stuff. That would be the easier thing to do. But what Claressa and Christina have done is accept that mantle and that challenge. They’ve taken on those discussions. Not just promoting their fight, but engaging in discussions about the future of women’s boxing.

“I’m sure they’re tired of talking at this point and just want to fight. That challenge is something that makes the process more difficult and something they’re doing for selfless reasons. It’s really for the advancement of the sport as a whole. Both women deserve a lot of credit for that.

“This fight is already a success. I know there’s one big piece that still remains, and I’m very excited to see the fight take place. I know they’re anxious to get in the ring. But what this promotion has done is advance the conversation and advance the dialogue. It’s all of our hopes that this will persist beyond this event and lead to a new era of women’s boxing.”