DETROIT (August 8, 2017) – Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.
Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.
A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.
“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”
For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.
“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”
Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”
Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.
Live on SHOWTIME® at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT from MGM Grand Detroit
“The game plan is simple: Win the fight.” – Nikki Adler
“I think I can get her out in six rounds.” – Claressa Shields
Click HERE To Download Weigh-In Photos; Credit Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
DETROIT (Aug. 3, 2017) – WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler and hometown favorite, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields officially made weight on Thursday, one day before they headline a doubleheader tomorrow/Friday, Aug. 4 on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Detroit.
Shields (3-0, 1 KO) tipped the scales at 165 ¼ pounds with the champion Adler (16-0, 9 KOs) of Germany coming in at 166 pounds even. In the ShoBox co-feature, world-ranked super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov (15-0, 9 KOs) of Russia will face Jesse Hernandez (8-1, 6 KOs) of Fort Worth, Texas, in an eight-round bout. Both fighters weighed in at 123 ¼ pounds.
Shields’ good friend and newly crowned UFC Featherweight World ChampionCris “Cyborg” Justino was on hand Thursday and will walk Shields into the ringon Friday. Also in attendance at the weigh-in was a potential future Shields’ opponent, five-time world champion Christina Hammer, who is undefeated at 21-0 and currently holds the WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Justino and Hammer met with the media in a forum moderated by Shields’ co-manager Mark Taffet before the weigh-in.
“I never thought it would happen, that the sports of MMA and boxing would come together like it has with the upcoming Mayweather-McGregor fight,” said Justino, the former Strikeforce and Invicta FC champion. “I think it’s great and incredible and could possibly open the door for other fights between the sports.”
“I’m looking forward to watching Claressa win the fight tomorrow night,” said Hammer. “I want to see her keep winning so we can fight one day. I only want to fight the best and she seems to be one of the best.”
Tickets for the event promoted by Salita Promotions are on sale now and are priced at $350, $250, $125 and $60. They will be available atwww.ticketmaster.com.
Programming Note: Episode 2 of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor will air Friday night before the ShoBox telecast at 10 p.m. ET/PT. To watch an exclusive clip of the episode, click here: http://s.sho.com/2u8OxWK.
Nikki Adler: 166 Pounds
Claressa Shields: 165¼ Pounds
Vladimir Tikhonov: 123¼ Pounds
Jesse Angel Hernandez: 123¼ Pounds
“This fight is very big in Germany, and I know there will be a lot of eye on me. It will be 4:30 in the morning, but there will be live streaming and viewing parties.
“I’m going to be defensive in the early going and know that Claressa is going to come forward. I want to get the fight into the later rounds. It’s 10 rounds of boxing and there will be lots of action.
“I know I will be tough to knock out and have no plans of going down. Claressa has gotten all the hype so far and she wants to put on a show for her fans. I’m going to do everything I can to send those fans home upset after I beat her and carry those belts out of the ring.
“This is my second fight with my trainer Rene [Friese]. I wanted to train with the best and I need a trainer who had worked with the top fighters.
“My trainer has really been stressing strategies. We have a lot of them. The game plan is simple: Win the fight.
“Fighting for the first time in the United States is going to be amazing. I’ve only fought in Russia and Germany, so to be here in a main event on SHOWTIME is really special.”
“I feel like I’m a lot healthier and hydrated than I did fighting at 160. I’m not sluggish. I used a chef who prepared my meals for the first time and I feel great.
“I’ve known about Nikki Adler and Christina Hammer for a long time. I like both of the girls, but when it comes to getting in the ring it’s all about business.
“Technically I see that [Nikki] is very poised and calm. She’s patient, but not too patient.
“Even though she may be the bigger fighter, I know I’m the aggressor. I think I can get her out in six rounds.
“Of course everyone wants to get the big knockout, but I haven’t found the right punch that gets the girls knocked out. I’m young so I know it will come.
“I’m glad Cyborg is here to support me. She hits hard and we’ve sparred. She’s strong and she is fast. She’s picked up a lot from me, and I’ve learned from her. She’s the most feared MMA fighter, and I’m most feared in boxing. So it’s great for both women’s sports.”
“This is my first time ever in America. I’m pretty impressed with it. There’s so much to do and see, but I can’t let distractions get in the way.
“I’ve been here for about a month training at Kronk Gym. Russian fighters are known for being very disciplined, and we know the opportunity that is in front of us. There is no room for slip ups and to get lazy. This is my big shot and I’m going to take advantage of it.
“The sparring has been the biggest thing. I’ve been sparring with pros and amateurs. It’s so much more powerful here and the variety is something I would never get at home.
“I can box and I can brawl. Whatever I have to do to get the win.”
“I had a layoff of about five years and worked construction jobs because I had to pay the bills, but now I’m back and focused on boxing.
“In the past I’ve been known to be too aggressive, so I’m going to try and slow things down and be a more tactical boxer.
“I have six brothers who were professional boxers and I’ve learned from them. My nickname is ‘The One’ because now I’m the only left fighting.
“I’m the youngest of 15 children, all with the same parents. We are a very close family.
“I’m a natural right-hander and I’m ready to fight a lefty like Tikhonov. I’ve fought some southpaws and I’ve been sparring with lefties.
“He’s undefeated for a reason. I don’t think he’s been in there with someone as tough as I am; as aggressive as I am.”
RENE FRIESE, Adler’s trainer
“We came all the way over here to bring home the belts back to Germany.
“We have our plan and our strategy in place. We are ready for this fight.”
JASON CRUTCHFIELD, Shields’ trainer
“There hasn’t been much smack talking for this fight. I told her you need to let your fists do your talking. Your mouth can’t help you in the ring.
“We are ready for 10 rounds. I’m not going to say it’s hard; it’s doable. It’s her first time doing it. We’ve trained for it and she’s been 10 rounds in training three or four times.”
# # #