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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.

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“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.

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“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.


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Live at 9:10 p.m. ET/PT from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City

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Click HERE To Watch The Full Weigh-In:

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


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


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.”



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                                     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

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:


“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.”


“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.”


“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.

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“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.”


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Click HERE for Audio

Kelly Swanson
Thank you, operator. Thanks, everyone, for calling in. This is fight week for what’s going to go down as the greatest fight in women’s boxing history for the undisputed World Middleweight Championship between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer, Saturday, April 13, from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey and live on SHOWTIME.

I’m going to let the other parties talk about the fighters, in particular Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks, Stephen?

Stephen Espinoza
Thanks, Kelly. We’re obviously thrilled. We have two consensus Top 10 pound for pound fighters, probably more like top five or six pound for pound fighters.

And as importantly, they’re facing off in a unification to crown the undisputed Middleweight World Champion. That would be only the seventh time in boxing history that that has happened.

We talk about the names of the other six undisputed champions. It’s an impressive list, Usyk, Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and Cecilia Brækhus.

So after Saturday we will have one more name on that list and it will be either Shields or Hammer. We have two fighters here with a combined record of 32 and 0 with 13 KOs. So not just two champions but two undefeated champions and two very charismatic, talented and certainly not shy to speak.

If you haven’t caught it yet, there are two episodes of our Emmy award-winning series “All Access” previewing this event. Both are available on social media platforms.

A reminder, this fight will be on SHOWTIME live this Saturday, the 13th, at 9:10 p.m. If you’re curious, the reason why it’s 9:10 we are premiering a documentary called THE RESURGENCE regarding DeMarcus Cousins of the Golden State Warriors at 8:00 p.m. and therefore it carries over until 9:10.

Before we get to our main event, and I’m sure all of you are very anxious to talk to our fighters, I do want to point out two interesting undercard bouts, two televised bouts, in which we are featuring two undefeated prospects in the suddenly resurgent heavyweight division.

Our co-feature will see Jermaine Franklin, an undefeated young heavyweight 17 and 0, 13 KOs, versus Rydell Booker at 25 and 1, 12 KOs. If you haven’t heard of Jermaine Franklin then you’re probably not studying the heavyweight division very closely.

He is considered one of, if not the top, American young heavyweight prospect. And he’s making his national television debut against the once beaten Rydell Booker.

In the opening bout, Otto Wallin, at 20 and 0, 13 KOs, versus Nick Kisner. Wallin is also an undefeated heavyweight. He’s from Sweden making his U.S. debut and is already ranked Number 5 by the WBA.

So we all know that the heavyweight division has gotten considerably more exciting lately. And these are two of the young guys who are looking to make a name for themselves. I think a worthy undercard for a fight of this magnitude.

I’ll now turn it back over to you, Kelly, and get to the fighters.

K. Swanson
Thanks, Stephen. Thank you so much. Also I did want to remind everyone, tickets are still on sale for this event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions.

Also the official hotel for the event is the Ocean Resort Casino. So we’re excited to have them be a part of the promotion as well.

Now I would like to turn it over to Salita Promotions and the President of Salita Promotions in particular, Dmitriy Salita, to talk a little bit more about the fight and make the introductions for the heavyweights. Dmitriy?

Dmitriy Salita
Thank you, Kelly. We’re very proud to promote this historic event on April 13 featuring two champions, Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer, and a great undercard with Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin.

I want to thank SHOWTIME and Stephen Espinoza for believing in women’s boxing, for believing in this fight and giving it this incredible platform to be able to build it through this very special event.

It feels very big now, but a month after the fight, a year after the fight, it’s going to be historic. And people are going to talk about it for a very long time. And we’re very, very proud to be a part of this magnificent event.

On the undercard we have two incredible heavyweights, one in Otto Wallin, who is from Sweden. He is 20 and 0, ranked Number 5 in WBA and Number 5 in IBF. He is an example of when dreams and hard work comes true.

He’s from a small town in Sweden and he believed since he was a kid that he was going to be the heavyweight champion of the world. And he’s going to have a chance to prove his worth on April 13 when he fights Nick Kisner in the opening fight.

In the co-main event, Jermaine Franklin, who is considered by many, as well as myself, as the best American heavyweight, he was a National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur.

He beat many of the top weighted heavyweights in the game today. As a professional he’s beaten numerous undefeated fighters and gatekeepers.

I have seen him in the gym preparing for this fight. He looks in great shape. I believe that he will have the chance to showcase his skills on April 13.

But he’s fighting a very, very tough and skilled Rydell Booker, who I’ve also seen prepare for this fight. And Rydell also had a tremendous amateur career, a great professional career. So this is going to be a great fight. It’s going to reassure the boxing fans what Jermaine is made of.

K. Swanson
Okay. Great. Thank you so much, Dmitriy. I’m going to go ahead and ask Otto if he would like to make an opening comment. And I’m going to start also, Otto, by asking you if you can share a little bit about your background. I don’t think a lot of the U.S. press has had a chance to really talk to you.

But also how important is it for you to have a great performance in your U.S. debut? And how do you accomplish that? Is there any extra pressure that you feel making this U.S. debut?

So, Otto, introduce yourself and talk a little bit about that.

Otto Wallin
Thank you. First of all I want to thank Dmitriy and SHOWTIME for putting me on this show and it’s very exciting to be on this show. It’s a huge, huge fight with Christina Hammer and Claressa Shields. And I’m happy to be a part of it.

As far as myself, I’m from Sweden. I’m from Sundsvall. It’s a small town with 100,000 people. I was the second pro ever to come out of that town. I’ve captured the WBA, Continental Belt and the EBU, European Union Belt.

I’ve been a pro since 2013. And I train with Joey Gamache. I’ve been with him since late 2013. And we were training in Denmark for four years. Then Joey moved back here in 2017 so I followed him over here.

I had my last fight April 21 last year. So it’s going to be a year on this fight. And I’m just looking forward to it. It’s finally here and the training has been going very well. I feel ready and I can’t wait to get in the ring.

K. Swanson
Okay. Thank you so much for that. And now I’m going to turn to Jermaine. And, Jermaine, welcome to the conference call. We look forward to seeing you fight. You are a very exciting fighter and definitely a big name in the heavyweight division.

And so, Jermaine, if you’d like to open up with your own comments and also do you see Booker as a step up in competition? And do you have to do anything differently in camp to prepare for this fight and what can fans expect to see from you on April 13?

Jermaine Franklin
Well, it’s an honor. First off it’s an honor to be able to fight on SHOWTIME and to be able to showcase my skills and talents. I want to thank SHOWTIME and I want to thank Salita Promotions for giving me my opportunity.

I think Rydell is a step up in opponents that I have fought but I don’t think it’s nothing that I really have to change up. We make game plans for every opponent that I fight. So we don’t take anybody lightly.

We treat everybody like they’re the best. So I’m just going to come out there, stick to the plan and do what we got to do. And let the world see our skills. Shock the world.

What do you think of Booker and his ability at this stage of his career?

J. Franklin
Rydell, I think he still has the ability to fight. Experience does play a big part in boxing. So I have seen a lot of guys with talent lose to guys with experience. So we can’t knock him for that.

I know he’s a little older, but like I said, he still has more experience than me. He has fought a Hall of Famer in James Toney so I still have to give credit where credit is due. I’m not going to take anything lightly.

How do you view him, Jermaine, in terms of comparing him to your other opponents so far?

J. Franklin
I think he’s going to be a little smarter. With experience from what I’ve seen, he likes to keep, a man in between, with some space. He uses his jab but he paws a lot.

So a lot of guys I fought they really try to get on the bike or some of them try to fight me. So I expect for him to try to use his jab and be on the bike a little bit.

I know you can’t go in there looking for knockouts obviously but he’s never been knocked out. How important is that for you to do that in this fight?

J. Franklin
Earlier in my career that’s all I looked for were knockouts. But now I just come out there and give a good show. I’m a warrior. If the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to take it.

Otto, I was just wondering if you could tell us, those of us who are not really all that familiar with you, what you bring to the table in terms of your abilities and your style?

O. Wallin
I’m a southpaw. I’m a good, clean boxer. I’m fast for a heavyweight. I’ve got good defense, good offense. And I’m pretty agile for a heavyweight. I’ve got good footwork and head movement. So I would say I’m a good boxer. I’m a crafty southpaw.

What can you tell us about your opponent?

O. Wallin
Nick Kisner is from Maryland. He’s 21 and 4. He’s smaller than me. So I think he suits me well. Yes, there’s not too much really out there on him. But there’s some and I definitely believe it’s enough. So I know what I got to do and we’ve been training hard. So I feel ready for him.

How far away do you feel you are from fighting maybe a rank contender or someone of that ilk?

O. Wallin
I don’t think I’m very far. I just want to come back now on Saturday and put in a good performance and stay busy this year and hopefully a big shot is going to come very soon.

Jermaine, could you talk about your history with Claressa, your relationship with her and growing up in the same area?

J. Franklin
Me and Claressa met probably about a good five or six years ago, maybe longer. We met a while ago at the James Toney tournament. And I had fought this guy from Detroit.

And after the fight she said she liked the way I was throwing my punches straight down the pipe. My coach and her old coach was very close so we used to go to the gym when we didn’t have no gym in Saginaw.

There was a point in time we didn’t have a gym so we used to go to Berston Field House and we used to train up there. So I got real close and familiar with Claressa.

So it’s just an honor to see her. She’s always been great. She was always did great things. It’s just an honor to be on the same card with her.

Did your sister know her or were friends with her?

J. Franklin
No, my little sister, she knows her a little bit. Like, my family, my immediate family, they know her. They’ve seen her around. And she’s seen them at fights and stuff like that.

Otto, at what point do you feel like you can challenge for those heavyweight titles?

O. Wallin
I’m not very far. First of all, I just want to get back now and be successful and have a few fights this year. And I think by next year I’ll be ready.

Do you feel like there’s not maybe more pressure but more incentive to go out and have your best showing out there?

O. Wallin
Yes. I’m used to fighting on TV back home. I think all of my fights have been on TV. But, of course, it’s different over here. It’s a huge show and there’s going to be a lot of people tuning in.

And it’s very important for me to put on a good performance. I want to show Salita Promotions and SHOWTIME that they made the right choice to put me on.

Jermaine, do you feel like a win like this against a guy like Rydell Booker who has never really been knocked out is the type of win that will really push your name out there as a rising contender?

J. Franklin
Yes. I think this fight will push my name out there as a rising contender. Because Rydell is still who he is. He still has a little name. So the fight being on SHOWTIME, I think it would give me the exposure I need. So I think it’s a great fight to push me out there as a contender.
Otto, what was your reaction to that to being able to fight in the states, on SHOWTIME and in Atlantic City?

O. Wallin
I was very happy, very thrilled. It’s been a dream for me since I was a kid to fight in the U.S. and to do it on SHOWTIME is amazing. So I was very excited.

I’ve never been to the Boardwalk Hall but I hear it’s a very nice venue and people around me are saying that all these great fighters fought there. So I’m very looking forward to going there and putting on a good performance.

K. Swanson
All right. Thanks, guys. See you soon. We’re going to transition over to our main event, Shields versus Hammer. I’m so excited about this fight. I’m going to turn it back over to Dmitriy Salita to make the introductions.

D. Salita
Yes. Christina Hammer is 28 years old. She’s 24 and 0 with 11 knockouts. She has been champion for over eight years and is one of the longest reigning champions in boxing.

She’s the current WBO and WBC champion in recess. And for those of you that have watched All Access, you can see how seriously she’s taken this fight training in Austria and in Germany. She is a star in Germany and in Europe and is one of the best fighters in boxing.

Christina Hamme
Yes. I prepared a long time for this fight. We have built this fight up and it’s very great. I’m thankful for the opportunity to fight on April 13 live on SHOWTIME.

It’s a big step for women’s boxing and a big step for me to unify all of these belts in one fight. I’m proud for this and I will give everything to be the champion and to step out of the ring as the undisputed champion at middleweight.

D. Salita
Claressa Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, currently two division world champion, only 8 and 0. And she has always had great aspirations from very early on in her career as an amateur and as a professional.

On April 13 she’s going to face the toughest test of her career fighting the world champion Christina Hammer for the Unified World Title. The winner of the fight is not only going to have all four belts but is also going to have a page in the history books. She’s trained in Colorado and is back in Florida now and is ready for April 13.

Claressa Shields
Hello, everybody. I’m here to answer you guy’s questions. It’s the last five days until training camp. I know we have a lot to say. I’m just waiting to beat Christina Hammer and also make her shut up.

Hi. This is a question for both fighters. I was wondering if you guys have ever been to Atlantic City and if you’re aware of the history of boxing in the town and the many great champions that have fought there?

C. Shields
I’ve been there. I know that Laila Ali fought against Jacqui Frazier here in a world title fight. I can’t think of anybody else that fought there. But that’s one of the women’s fights that I know of. But that’s about it that I know from – and Floyd Mayweather fought against Arturo Gatti at the Boardwalk Hall.

C. Hammer
Yes. Atlantic City is a very talked about city. I never fought there, but it’s the first time and my second fight in the USA. I’m very happy to get this fight and show real boxing. I’m looking forward for this and I can’t wait to step into the ring.

Christina, what was your reaction upon hearing that news and that that fight was going to have to be delayed until now for April?

C. Hammer
Yes. It was very disappointing for me that the doctor told me and didn’t allow me to fight in November. But, yes, everything happens for a reason.

I am stronger now. I feel better. And everything is going in the right direction. And now the time is coming that we’re ready for the fight and ready for the undisputed championship.

Has this fight kind of taken a more personal feel than perhaps any of your previous fights?

C. Hammer
I think it’s the biggest fight of my career because I am looking forward for a long time to unifying all of these belts. I think every boxer dreams of that

I prepare for everything. And this fight I focus 100%, 110%. And, yes, to fight and I accept. We are both champions, both undefeated.

Claressa has that experience of getting to stay busy and fighting against different types of fighters, does that kind of give you an edge over Christina, who sort of had to sit on the sidelines for a little while?

C. Shields
Well, I can that just because she was sick doesn’t mean that I’m sick. With my career at the time, I was only, 5 and 0, 6 and 0. So I wanted to get more fights under my belt.

With the time that I had, I wanted to just take advantage of it. Like, I’ve been only a pro two years. And there’s a lot that I have to learn. And the only way that you learn is from actually getting inside the ring and fighting.

I’ve been able to have 20 rounds since fighting against Hanna Gabriels. So just with that, that’s great for me and it helps me with my experience.

From those two fights, I’ve been able to fight against a girl who, idolizes Christina Hammer, Hannah Rankin. And I was able to beat her all 10 rounds.

And then I was able to fight against Femke Hermans, who also a strong, tall fighter. And it got me more prepared for the fight with Hammer. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of good things in those two fights. That’s going to help me win April 13.

Do you feel like you are more ready now because you had those fights against Femke Hermans and Hannah Rankin than maybe compared to if the fight would have taken place last year?

C. Shields
I still would have won the fight if it would have happened on November 17 or if the fight happens now. I’m happy with the things that I’ve learned, but it wouldn’t have been a different outcome.

It may have been a little tougher, I can say, because of the things I didn’t know or that I hadn’t experienced yet. But either way, if we would have fought November 17, if we would have fought when I had my second, third pro fight, I still would have won.

Claressa, I just want to know what it was like to be the subject of an All Access series, something that’s usually afforded for fighters that are fighting on PPV and just what your overall impression was of the All Access episode?

C. Shields
What I love most about the All Access was it really showed the inside of our training camp. And it showed that, even though people look at women’s boxing and sayoh, those girls aren’t athletic. They aren’t good. But with me and the Hammer, you see that we both are athletic. We both do train hard. We both do put boxing first. And we do talk trash.

I think that’s what sells. And when I saw the All Access, it was just more fuel to the fire. Her and her team said some things that I didn’t like and I’m quite sure I said some things that she didn’t like.

And that just brings more fire to the fuel for April 13, which gets to be a big old house fire by the time that we get into the ring and fight.

Is any of this personal with Christina or, like, is it just your way of selling the fight?

C. Shields
It’s a fight. What I can say is I don’t hate anybody. I never have. I can say I don’t like her as much as she doesn’t like me. But at the end of the day after the fight I’ll give as much sportsmanship as I can. But whatever, it’s a fight. No matter what she says or what she does, I’m still going to fight her the same.

She wants to say things to get under my skin and it’s really been making me laugh. I’ve enjoyed this whole trash talk thing of going back and forth, her lying and saying I missed weight, all this crazy stuff that she’s doing I really just sit back and I laugh about it. And I’m still going to train and fight and make weight just the way I’m supposed to.

Who knows what else she’ll do by the time that the fight is here? We got five more days. You never know what she’ll pull out of her bag of tricks.

But it’s not nothing personal for me. It’s a fight. And when I get in the ring with anybody, it’s always no face no name. I just get in there and win.

Claressa, how big a deal is this for you to get to that GWOAT status that you’ve been talking about that you’ve been wanting to be from day one?

C. Shields
Yes, absolutely. Part of the big picture is fighting again. Right now we are one and two of the top boxers at middleweight. So for us to have this fight, for her to be completely healthy and me be completely healthy and she’s 28 and I’m 24, this is a great fight to be made right now.

When you’re saying I’m the greatest of all time I can beat any kind of fighter — a fighter that moves, a fighter who’s standing there, a fighter who can do both. Being the greatest woman of all time comes with being able to win those fights that people say that you can’t win. She’s 24-0 11 knockouts. I’m 8-0 with 2 knockouts, right.

Everybody’s like how can a person who’s been professional only two years beat a person who’s a professional ten, eleven years and they’re the reigning champion nine, eight years and all this stuff like that. And that’s what the greatest woman of all time can do. Just like I beat Hanna Gabriels I’m going to beat Christina Hammer.

What do you say to your critics that said they saw some cracks in your game with the Hanna Gabriels fight?

C. Shields
They don’t want to fight. It doesn’t matter. The thing is that I’ve learned a lot from my fights. And like I said, like that fight with Hanna Gabriels, one thing was like I say she was 18-1. I was only 5-0. She was my 6th win.

I don’t know any fighter who gets in the ring with somebody like that, gets knocked down in the first round and then comes back and wins every round after the knockdown. To me that’s what you call a superb athlete. That’s the epitome of being a great fighter.

They can say I had holes in my game but I’m not a perfect fighter. But just know that I’m getting there. Every fight I get better. Every fight I add something to my arsenal. And I’m going to get better on my own schedule, on my own time. I’m not going to do what everybody think I should do just because I got knocked down. Who doesn’t get knocked down?

How big a deal is it to be that face of women’s boxing and be that cash cow?

C. Shields
Right now with me being the face of women’s boxing, I just always have to be reminded to keep being me. All the women before me they all had this way of what they think is promotion or the way or what a world champion is.

And the truth is a world champion is a world champion. We’re all different. Some of us are quiet. Some of us don’t talk trash. Some of us don’t have confidence. Some of us have a lot of confidence. Some of us are ignorant. I mean, some boxers are ignorant and I can say that. But I’m not one of those boxers.

And I love that Errol Spence, that he stands behind me and doesn’t want me to change. Same thing with Andre Ward. One of the best things that Andre Ward told me was continue being who I am. Despite people saying a woman talking trash is not classy or it’s not cute and women shouldn’t be like that, you should be more soft spoken. I’m just so happy that when I had that conversation with Andre Ward he was like sis, be who you are, like if you talking trash is really who you are, if you’re being confident with who you are, then he said keep doing it. Don’t be fake for nobody.

And that’s what I continue to do. I’m going to be the kind of world champion that I want to be. I’m not trying to be like nobody else.

Christina, do you think people overlook you?

C. Hammer
Got it. No, I think the people in the USA accept me and respect me very much and I see it every day, like they’re so interested in this fight. And I think it’s time that these fights are coming for the whole world and it’s a huge step for women’s boxing.

We’re undefeated. And I feel very good in the USA. And I’m looking forward to fighting April 13th and beyond in the USA.

Do you feel like you can be to women’s boxing what Serena Williams has been to women’s tennis?

C. Shields
Absolutely. Growing up there weren’t a lot of women boxers to look up to — again, that I knew about. And Serena Williams was an athlete who I did look up to, like I’ve seen the pictures of Serena Williams with both gold medals on the side of her face and that was my motivation to go back to my second Olympics so I can win another Olympic medal and take that exact same picture. Like that was my ultimate motivation, besides no other American had won two Olympic gold medals in boxing.

I think that I have a great life story, I came from nothing and I made a lot of myself. And just to be dominant like Serena Williams, just to win all the things that she won, I want to be looked at as dominant as she is in tennis but just in boxing.

How personal is this fight? How important is it for you to go out and prove that you’re the face of women’s boxing, the best female fighter in the world?

C. Shields
Hammer can say whatever she wants. I know that they believe in mind games and tricks and all this stuff over there in Germany. But over here in the US people play mind games, too. And we talk trash, whatever the case may be. But inside the ring, I think she has to realize it’s just me and her. No matter what she says or how she says it or what she does, it’s not going to make me box any different. I’m going to stick to what my game plan is. I’m going to win the fight. And I’m going to be happy with my performance at this fight.

She wants to stay on the outside and look cute and wear a dress but I’m going to rough her up all night. Like I don’t know why she just want to come out there and jab me and move and I’m going to be like this kind of punching bag that’s going to stand there and just look at her like my gosh. Like no, I have a jab too and I can box. And I’m not worried about anything else but getting inside the ring and fighting.

All this trash talking is actually fun to me. No matter if she’s spreading fake rumors to the fans saying that I missed weight or saying that I’m overweight, I’m going to have a hard time making weight, I fought 160 in my last two fights. I didn’t miss weight any of them, so I don’t know where she gets that from.

She’s just saying something that she thinks is going to bother me when it doesn’t. It doesn’t. I’m just enjoying this time right now while we have this platform. And if she wants to talk trash, we can talk trash. As long as she doesn’t get too disrespectful, we’re good. I don’t think it went to the point of like the Anthony Joshua – Jarrell Miller disrespectful. Now, when it gets there, then you’ll see, maybe something different out of me. But till then, I’m all good.

What fuels you more, the trashing talking from the trolls or the trash talking between you two?

C. Hammer
I think it’s normal. That’s boxing. That’s business. And yes, we make this fight on fire and the people love it, this trash talking and reposting, whatever. And I think it’s normal, like it’s the game of boxing and on fight night, who has the better plan and has the better game plan will win. And that will be me.

C. Shields
I feel like on social media some days people like me, some days people don’t. Some days I post stuff just to get the reaction out of fans and make them upset because I don’t care.

I can say that the trash talking between me and her I believe is funny. Some of the trolls get out of hand. They say weird stuff. I’m actually fueled by the fans who believe in me, who are behind me, who want me to win the fight. And the ones that’s against me, I’ve just been on social media just saving receipts. Everybody that say she’s going to knock me out I’m just saving that receipt. Everybody that says she’s going to win the fight and going to outbox me, there’s going to be a clear decision win for her and all this stuff, I’m just more like letting them say whatever they want to say.

So once I do win the fight, trust and believe me, I’ll be right back on social media tagging all those people. Asking them hey, where you at? She lost. Where you at?

I don’t mind that kind of stuff. I really don’t. Like it’s actually funny to me. But I’m just ready to go out there and show that no matter who you put me in the ring with, I will come out victorious. No matter if it’s a world champ with 24-0 with 11 knockouts, or rather it’s a champion with 24-0 with 24 knockouts. It doesn’t matter who you put me in the ring with. I can win and I will win April 13th.

And last question for both of you. Describe yourself in one word both of you.

C. Hammer

C. Shields
A word for myself, destroyer.

What do you see is being the key in this fight for you and do you have a prediction?

C. Shields
I think the key to me is to do what I always do. One key is just don’t be out jabbed. Use my jab, move my head, my combinations. And just letting her know it’s a fight.. If she wants to be the mover in the box, then she can do that. But just know that I’m going to be the one landing the points. I’m going to be the one controlling the ring action. So that’s just kind of what the game plan is from what I can tell you. Everything else will come into play during the fight.

Do you have a prediction?

C. Shields
I really haven’t thought about a prediction. I feel like I can knock her out in the 7th round or I can knock her out toward the end. I feel like the earlier rounds she’ll be moving, running, holding, stuff like that. But I feel like as the fight goes on I’ll just keep beating her down until I’m ready.

C. Hammer
Why you say always like beat you down, beat you down? I don’t know.

C. Shields
What? Just because you have 11 knockouts don’t mean you’re a better fighter than me. I’ve been professional two years.

C. Hammer
You don’t beat someone down. You every time say I beat you down. I beat a lot of people down.

C. Shields
I beat a girl down…

C. Hammer
But not in your professional career.

C. Shields
It doesn’t matter. You are not unbeatable. You ain’t no secret. You are not hard to beat. I’m going to mess you up.

Has Hammer showed you she could deliver that same shot you were knocked down with?

C. Shields
I know that she’s probably been in camp working on that same shot but it’s so weird how the shot came. It was more like I was off balance. So I don’t even care if she works on the same shot or not. If it was the same shot that could get me out of the fight, Hanna Gabriels tried those same shots after she knocked me down and she couldn’t land it again and I was able to win the rest of the rounds.

Everybody has to find something to make them feel confident about something, you. And I feel like if Hammer wants to use that as a way to push herself and feel like she can do the same thing, I am all fine with that. I just know that I’ve seen, she’s been knocked down plenty of times too. I’ve been knocked down one time but she’s been knocked down more than one time.

And it was a DQ fight that I thought she got knocked out but they called it a disqualification. They can’t talk like I’m just unbeatable fighter. So of course they’re going to use that to push it and whatever. But I’m not worried about it.

I watched the fight and watched the knockdown and got caught but it’s not like a heartbreaking thing for me. I know that I can get back up and win so that brings me more fire, knowing that I can do that.

Has facing that adversity in a fight helped you feel that you can overcome whatever situation you might find yourself in?

C. Shields
I’ve been to the Olympics twice. I’ve been to the world championships twice. I won the Pan American games multiple times. I’ve always fought outside the country. I just started fighting back inside the USA when I turned professional. And it doesn’t matter where a fight is held at. I just know I show up to fight with one mindset and one goal and that’s to win the fight. So she’ll have her fans. I’ll have my fans. She wanted it in a neutral site. I guess she was scared to come back to Detroit and fight me in Detroit so we’re fighting in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

It doesn’t matter to me where we fight at. It could have been Vegas. It could have been New York. It doesn’t matter. Same outcome. I wouldn’t have any different mindset. I keep telling people no matter where we fight at or whatever, when we get inside the ring it’s just me and her. It doesn’t matter what her coach yells out or nobody. Nobody can help her in the ring with me. It’s just me and her. That’s it.

How involved will you be in the Barry Jenkins project about your life? And then who would be the ideal actress to play you?

C. Shields
Well, the Universal story we’ve actually had the contract done with them for about a year now. Barry Jenkins is writing the script for it. And when last time me and Barry Jenkins talked when we met in person — which was about a year ago — we were just talking about like what we wanted the ending of the story to be and we were kind of like do you want the story to be the second Olympics or the story be when you won the world title. It was actually before I had my first world title fight.

He just was like let’s take our time and let’s see. And I think now the ending of the story will be when I become undisputed champion. So I think I would like Nafessa Williams to play me. I think she’s pretty bad ass and she should definitely play me in the movie.

Christina have you had the opportunity to get anybody to emulate the style of the game Claressa had?

C. Hammer
No. I fought a girl from the US from the same team as her. And I always fight starting with men. And yes, everybody has a game plan. I have my game plan. And I will use my reach and you will see what’s going on in the ring. Yes. it’s a very historical night for us and I’m ready for this.

Being a champion why didn’t you make a big deal about come over there to face you?

C. Hammer
Yes, a lot of people and a lot of fighters are always fighting in Europe and Germany. But it’s normal to take the risk that you can come to USA and fight here and everything. But yes, I’m very motivated and I want to show who’s the real champion. When you get it in the USA, everybody knows it. The whole world knows you. It’s great to have these opportunities to fight live on SHOWTIME.

For me it’s a very big step. But I’m not afraid. I’m not scared of this. I know what I can do. And I give everything for that. I prepare very hard for this. And yes, it will be a great fight. I hope a lot of people will watch this fight and celebrate it.

Claressa what would be the next goal for you?

C. Shields
There’s always more history to be made. I feel like I’m trying to make history faster than everybody else. I believe I’ll be the fastest fighter to become undisputed with only nine fights. And after that, I would love to have a super fight with Cecilia Braekhus. We’ll be the only undisputed women fighters. And I believe that we’re close enough in weight for one of us to come up and for me to go down and we meet at 154 for a fight.

Other than that, there’s always girls who are coming up. We have girls who are ranked, three, four, and five. I’ll just fight the mandatory till another super fight comes. But the way that women’s boxing is coming now, there’s a lot of girls coming out of retirement to get back into the game who want to fight world champions. So who knows what we’ll see in the middleweight division? But I know I’ll be at the top and I’ll just fight the best. That’s my only goal — continue to fight the best and prove that I’m the greatest woman of all time.

D. Salita
Yes, thank you all for joining us today. Thank you Claressa and thank you Christina. Saturday night is going to be a great, historic night of boxing. And all the media attention, all the social media trolling and things like that are just showing us how big of a fight this is.

I look forward to Saturday night. Those that are going to be there are going to witness history and those that are going to watch the fight on SHOWTIME are going to witness history. I’d like to thank Stephen Espinoza and Gordon Hall for believing in this fight and for giving the time to build it to the super fight that it is. Thank you all and I’ll see you all guys on April 13th.


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Franklin Battles Rydell Booker while Wallin faces Nick Kisner Live on SHOWTIME® Saturday, April 13 Leading Up to Claressa Shields vs. Christina Hammer Main Event from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (April 3, 2019) – Unbeaten rising heavyweight contenders Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin will be looking to make a splash and announce themselves in the heavyweight division when they step in for separate bouts live on SHOWTIME Saturday, April 13 from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader will air beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is headlined by Claressa Shields battling Christina Hammer for the undisputed women’s middleweight championship.

Franklin will face Rydell Booker while Wallin takes on Nick Kisner in a pair of 10-round attractions leading up to the main event. For both Franklin and Wallin, they see April 13 as a step towards their larger goals.

“Booker is in the way of where I’m eventually trying to be,” said Franklin. “I’m part of that next generation of heavyweights and I’m working hard to end up as the heavyweight champion when the dust settles. I always find a way to win and I’m going to show it on April 13.”

“Coming to the U.S. for the second part of my career is very exciting,” said Wallin. “I’ve accomplished a lot in my career in Europe but this is a new beginning. This is the moment I’ve been dreaming of since I first laced up mitts and I can’t wait to introduce myself to the fans here.”

A 25-year-old from Saginaw, Michigan, Franklin hopes to show that he’s primed to become the next American heavyweight champion, and is ready to take the mantle from current WBC titlist Deontay Wilder and the long line of American heavyweight champions that came before him.

“I’m going to raise the competition amongst the heavyweights,” said Franklin. “The division is definitely back on the map and I’m planning on having a hand in making it must-watch TV once again. America needs another face in the heavyweight division and that’s going to be me.

“I already believe that I am the best heavyweight in the world. There are a lot of big, strong heavyweights, but I’m a balanced athlete, which makes me different. I’m strong, fast, athletic and getting better with each fight.”

Although his native Sweden is not known for boxing, Wallin’s home country has previously produced a heavyweight champion in Ingemar Johansson, who famously stopped Floyd Patterson in their first fight at Yankee Stadium in 1959. After defeating fellow Swedish heavyweight Adrian Granat in his last fight, Wallin decided it was time to fight in the U.S., following previous training camps in New York with trainer Joey Gamache.

“Training here in New York brings me a great energy and it shows in my performance,” said Wallin. “It’s the center of the world, and while I’m fully focused on training, I feed off the energy of the city.

“Ingemar Johansson is of course a big inspiration for me. When he came to the U.S. and beat Floyd Patterson, he was the baddest man on the planet. I’m looking to take that mantle and become a hero for young Swedish boxers, just like he has been for me.”

In addition to being Wallin’s U.S. debut, the unbeaten heavyweights will make their first appearances on SHOWTIME and it will be Franklin’s first time fighting in the northeast. They each hope to show off their respective talents and are prepared for what comes with the increased platform.

“This is a great chance for me to showcase my skills, but I still treat it like just another fight,” said Franklin. “I’m going to adapt to my opponent and expose his weaknesses. I’m always improving because once you think you know it all, that’s when you find out you know nothing.”

“I’m just a kid from a small town in Sweden and I’ve worked hard to get to this point,” said Wallin. “Training here in the U.S. and fighting here is going to help me put on the best performance of my career. The fun begins on April 13 and I’m not stopping until I am champion.”

Both recently signed with Dmitriy Salita’s Salita Promotions and on April 13 will begin a year that could leave each fighter on the precipice of a title shot.

“On April 13 two of the best heavyweight in the world, one from the U.S., one from Sweden, will both have a chance to make a claim that they are ready to challenge for the heavyweight title,” said Salita.

“Jermaine Franklin is by far the best American heavyweight prospect who is soon to be a contender and a champion. He will have a great opportunity to showcase his skills and worth against the experienced, hungry and accomplished Rydell Booker.

“Boxing is a sport of individual stories and Otto Wallin is a great example of that. A top-rated heavyweight from a small town in Sweden, he is showing that dreams, combined with hard work, can come true. He is one of the best heavyweight contenders from Europe and on April 13 he will show that he belongs with the elite in the U.S.”

With this opportunity to announce themselves in the resurgent heavyweight division, Franklin and Wallin are keyed for eye-opening performances next Saturday.

“My ultimate goal is to become world champion and I believe right now I’m on the right path,” said Wallin, who is ranked No. 5 by the IBF and WBA. “I had good years fighting in Europe, but now is the time for me to go to the next level. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m all about and give the fans great fights.”

“I’m planning to be a major force in the heavyweight division by the end of the year,” said Franklin. “It’s my coming out party. I feel like my dreams are going to come true. I’m going to show everyone who I am: the best new heavyweight in the world.”

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


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Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer Meet in SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® Main Event To Crown Undisputed Women’s Middleweight Champion

NEW YORK – March 7, 2019 – Two undefeated heavyweight prospects will put their unblemished records on the line when they fight in separate bouts on Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J on the undercard of the Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer groundbreaking event. 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 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

In the main event, undefeated middleweight world champions Shields and Hammer will meet to crown the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion in what is arguably the most significant women’s boxing event in history.

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

“The heavyweight division is as talented and exciting as ever,and we are thrilled to add two undefeated warriorsto the April 13 telecast,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “We have the best American heavyweight prospect in Jermaine Franklin and one of the best European heavyweight contenders in Otto Wallin. These fights will be tremendous lead-ins to the historic Shields vs. Hammer main event and will create a night to remember for boxing fans worldwide.”

The 25-year-old Franklin (17-0, 13 KOs), from Saginaw, Mich., is a former amateur standout and a 2014 National Golden Gloves Champion. A likely candidate to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Olympic Games, Franklin turned down the opportunity to compete for a spot on the team and instead chose to begin his professional career in 2015. Widely regarded as the top American heavyweight prospect, Franklin has built his undefeated record with relative ease since turning pro, knocking out nine of his first 10 professional opponents. Coming off a lopsided 10-round decision over Craig Lewis in July, Franklin aims to continue moving up the ranks of the resurgent heavyweight division in 2019 and position himself for a title shot.

“I can’t wait – I am ready to show that I am the new man in the heavyweight division,” said Franklin. “Rydell is a good fighter but he is in the way of my goal of winning the heavyweight world title. April 13 will be my coming out party and I am very honored to have this opportunity on SHOWTIME.”

Booker (25-1, 12 KOs), from Detroit, Mich., is a former No.1-ranked U.S. amateur who was once a rising heavyweight prospect with a 22-0 record. He suffered his lone defeat to former three-division world champion James Toney, who was coming off wins over Vassiliy Jirov and Evander Holyfield, in 2004. After serving a 12-year prison sentence, Booker has returned to the ring looking to get his life back on track and live up to his once promising expectations, registering three unanimous decision victories in 2018 under the tutelage of former world champion Jimmy Paul.

“It means a lot to have this opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME,” said the 38-year-old Booker, who sparred with heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua in preparation for his September 2018 bout with Alexander Povetkin. “I’m ready to show my talents on a national stage so everyone will know who Rydell Booker is once again. I think Jermaine Franklin is a pretty good fighter but he has never fought anybody with my experience, knowledge in the ring or my ring savvy. I am going to teach him some new lessons on April 13. I have a bag full of goodies and tricks at my disposal that I will teach this young whipper snapper.”

Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs), who will be making his U.S. debut, turned pro in 2013 and has gradually risen in the rankings by recording 20 consecutive wins. The 28-year-old southpaw, who originally played ice hockey and soccer in his native Sweden before finding the sweet science, won the Swedish Boxing Championship at 16-years-old, fought against Joshua twice as an amateur and was a member of the Swedish National Boxing Team. Currently ranked No. 5 by both the WBA and IBF, Wallin most recently won a 12-round unanimous decision over Adrian Granat in April 2018 and now has his sights set on becoming his country’s first Heavyweight Champion since Ingemar Johansson in 1960.

“I’m very excited about making my U.S. debut on SHOWTIME,” said Wallin, who has spent the last two years conducting training camp in New York with his trainer and former two-division champion Joey Gamache. “To be fighting on such a big card is very inspiring. I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I first started boxing at the age of 15. I will put on a good performance on April 13 and introduce myself to the American fans. I will be one step closer towards my goal of winning the heavyweight world title. Like I’ve said before, I’m a kid from a small town in Sweden and I’m proud of where I’m from and what I’ve achieved so far, but I feel like this is when all the fun starts.”

The 28-year-old Kisner (21-4-1, 6 KOs) has competed at both cruiserweight and heavyweight since turning professional in 2010 after a successful amateur career. Among Kisner’s numerous amateur recognitions, the Baltimore, Md. native was a three-time National Silver Gloves Champion, two-time Junior National Golden Gloves Champion and Ringside World Champion. He holds the distinction of being the youngest boxer in American history ever to win a Men’s National Title in the heavyweight division at 17 years old. As a pro, three of Kisner’s four losses have come against opponents who boasted an undefeated record on fight night. In his last bout, Kisner defended his WBA U.S. cruiserweight title with a majority decision win over Scott Sigmon.

“I’ve dreamt my whole life of one day fighting on national television and now that the time is here, I’m going to make the most of it,” said Kisner. “Wallin is very good but I’m going to prove I’m one of the best heavyweights on the planet. I have proven my ability to beat the best in the world at both the amateur and professional level and I will do it again on April 13.”

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 of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.


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Otto Wallin

Unbeaten Swedish Heavyweight Ranked No. 5 By IBF & WBA Set To Make U.S. Debut on Claressa Shields vs. Christina Hammer Undercard Saturday, April 13 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Sundsvall, SWEDEN (March 4, 2019) – Salita Promotions has signed undefeated heavyweight contender Otto Wallin of Sweden, as they continue to grow their stable of top fighters.

Wallin is 20-0 with 13 knockouts since turning pro in 2013 and beginning his unbeaten run. The 28-year-old will make his U.S. debut on Saturday, April 13 on the undercard of the Claressa Shields vs. Christina Hammer event in Atlantic City, N.J.

“I’m delighted to join forces with Salita Promotions,” said Wallin. “I´ve had good years fighting in Europe and now it´s time for the second part of my career. After meeting and talking to Dmitriy Salita, I feel comfortable that he’s the right person to develop me and turn me into a world champion, which is my ultimate goal.”

“Salita Promotions is proud to join forces with a high-caliber fighter like Otto Wallin and we’re excited to bring him to the top level of the sport including the heavyweight world championship,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “The heavyweight division is back at the forefront of the sport and with Otto steadily making his way up the rankings, we know that he’s going to announce himself as a top contender here very soon. The U.S. audience is going to love what this heavyweight brings.”

“Otto has exciting years ahead with Salita Promotions and I believe it is a very promising partnership,” said Håkan Norberg, Wallin’s adivsor. “I know Otto is ready for the big fights and I know he is determined to achieve his goals. With his exceptional mental strength, I´m sure he will reach them. After working together with him for seven successful years, this will be a special next step in his career.”

Wallin picked up boxing while growing up in Sweden with his two brothers, originally playing ice hockey, football and other sports before falling in love with the sweet science. He won the first amateur tournament he competed in, finishing first in the Swedish Boxing Championship at sixteen-years-old. He then joined the Swedish National Boxing Team, launching him towards his eventual pro career.

Representing his hometown of Sundsvall, Sweden, Wallin is currently ranked number five by both the WBA and IBF, putting him squarely in position for a showdown with top heavyweight champions and contenders. The southpaw most recently captured the EBU European Union Heavyweight Title with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Adrian Granat in April 2018 that was the main event of one of Sweden’s biggest sporting events of last year.

His U.S. debut on April 13 will come after Wallin has spent the last two years conducting training camp in New York with his trainer and former two-division champion Joey Gamache, while being managed by David Berlin and Zachary Levin.

“Cus D’Amato said, ‘It is the mark of a great fighter when he has character plus skill, because a fighter with character and skill will often rise and be a better fighter because of this.’ Otto has character and skill,” said Levin. “He is also exceptionally dedicated to his craft. When you have all of these things on your side, plus the talent he has–watch out!”

Wallin will take the first steps in following in the footsteps of Swedish hero Ingemar Johansson, who won the heavyweight world title in the U.S. by stopping Floyd Patterson in a memorable matchup at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in 1959. Fellow Swede Badou Jack is the most recent from his home country to become a champion stateside, something Wallin seeks to accomplish with the help of Salita Promotions.

“I´m a kid from a small town in Sweden and I´m proud of what I´ve accomplished so far, but this feels like a new beginning and a very exciting one,” said Wallin. “Ingemar Johansson is a big inspiration for me, because when he came to the U.S. and won the title, he was the baddest man on the planet. That’s always been my goal and that’s what I’m going for.”