CLARESSA SHIELDS TO FACE CHRISTINA HAMMER IN MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UNIFICATION
NEW YORK (September 25, 2018) – Two undefeated middleweight world champions will meet when Claressa Shields faces Christina Hammer on Saturday, November 17 live on SHOWTIME from the Adrian Phillips Theater in Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The blockbuster unification match to determine the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion will be the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION, live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Shields vs. Hammer features two of the consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world squaring off to crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history.
The 23-year-old Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division champion who holds the IBF and WBA 160-pound titles. The 28-year-old Hammer (23-0, 10 KOs) owns the WBC and WBO belts and has dominated the women’s middleweight division for nearly eight years. Shields and Hammer fought on the same card in June on SHOWTIME, with both fighters winning impressively to set up the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division.
The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four recognized titles in any weight class.
“I’ve worked hard my whole life to overcome every obstacle, represent my country and win two Olympic gold medals, and win world championships in two weight divisions as a pro,” Shields said. “I want to be part of the biggest fight in women’s boxing history, I want to be undisputed world middleweight champion, I want women’s boxing to reach new heights, and the only thing standing between me and the achievement of all those goals is Christina Hammer. I will defeat Hammer on November 17, and I will do it in a way that will leave no doubt who is the best in the world.”
“I am beyond excited and motivated to fight Claressa,” Hammer said. “I am the best middleweight in the world and will make that point very clear when we get in the ring. It’s been my dream to fight in the biggest women’s fight of all time and raise women’s boxing to an all-time high. I will be crowned the undisputed middleweight queen on November 17.”
“SHOWTIME Sports has a long history of featuring the best in women’s combat sports, whether it was with Laila Ali and Christy Martin in boxing, or Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in MMA,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “More recently, since 2016 we have featured today’s elite with Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano appearing in an industry-leading 10 presentations of women’s boxing.
“Male or female, SHOWTIME has delivered the best fighters in their toughest matchups, and November 17 will be no different. We have two of the best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world facing each other with all four women’s middleweight titles at stake. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
“I have been fortunate to be part of some of the biggest and most important fights in boxing history, and I am thrilled to play a part in the Shields vs Hammer undisputed middleweight championship fight on SHOWTIME,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “This is a fight which will make its mark on history and change the landscape for women’s boxing. And what better venue to host this historic fight than Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, home to some of the greatest fights of our generation including Tyson vs Spinks, Holyfield vs Foreman and Gatti vs Ward. I can’t wait to see these two great champions give the fans a night to remember for generations to come.”
“This will be a historic night for boxing,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “The two best middleweights in the world - both champions, both undefeated and both motivated to prove who is the best - are bringing their skills, confidence and heart to the ring in the greatest women’s matchup of all time. Shield vs. Hammer will take boxing, and women’s sports, to a new height. History will be made November 17 live on SHOWTIME.”
Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic Gold Medals. The Flint, Mich., native turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight for her June 22 headliner on SHOWTIME, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles and become a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest.
Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has been the dominant force in the women’s middleweight division since winning the WBO title in 2010. Hammer became unified champion in 2016 with a unanimous decision over WBC titlist Kali Reis and has made four defenses as unified champion. In her eight years as champion, Hammer has lost just a handful of rounds across 16 world title fights. Hammer, who also models professionally and was recently featured at Fashion Week in New York City, made her U.S. debut on June 22 after campaigning mostly in Germany since turning professional in 2009.
The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.