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.”
# # #
Unbeaten Super Bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov to Face Jesse Angel Hernandez in Opening Bout Live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) From MGM Grand Detroit
DETROIT (July 19, 2017) – Junior welterweight knockout artist Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated prospect Sonny “Pretty Boi” Fredrickson (17-0, 11 KOs) in a 10-round ShoBox: The New Generation co-featured bout Friday, Aug. 4 live on SHOWTIME from MGM Grand Detroit.
The match-up will serve as the chief supporting bout of Salita Promotions’ “BATTLE OF THE BEST” – a women’s 10-round super middleweight unification between two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (3-0, 1 KO) and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). Adler vs. Shields is also for the vacant IBF Super Middleweight Title.
In the opening bout of the telecast at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, undefeated consensus Top-10-ranked super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov (15-0, 9 KOs), of Russia, will face Texas slugger Jesse Angel Hernandez (8-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round matchup of fellow southpaws.
Note: The ShoBox telecast will now begin at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT immediately following the premiere of Episode 1 of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor. The start time was previously announced as 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets for the event promoted by Salita Promotions are on sale now and priced at $350, $250, $125 and $60. They will be available at www.ticketmaster.com. Eyubov vs. Fredrickson is promoted in association with Roc Nation.
The 30-year-old Brooklyn-based Eyubov is originally from Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan. A charismatic showman, Eyubov is a fast-rising prospect – his fight against Fredrickson will be Eyubov’s third on ShoBox: The New Generation. He stopped then 16-2-1 Jared Robinson in three rounds in January 2016 and took an exciting 10-round split decision from veteran Karim Mayfield in August 2016.
“I simply want to fight the best,” Eyubov said. “Sonny is a skilled fighter who I know will come to fight. I look forward to putting on a great show for fans at MGM Detroit and those watching on SHOWTIME. Expect a special performance on August 4.”
The 22-year-old Fredrickson hails from Toledo, Ohio. Tall and rangy for the weight, Fredrickson stands an imposing 6-foot-2 and has power in both hands. He compiled an outstanding amateur record of 120-8 (60 KOs) and collected numerous accolades, including the 2013 National PAL Bronze Medalist (141 lbs.), the 2013 National Golden Gloves Final Eight (141 lbs.), five Toledo Golden Glove Championships and two Ohio State Junior Olympics Championships.
Fredrickson said, “Going up against another undefeated fighter will be a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills in front of the world Personally, I feel like I have much to prove and I’m looking forward to making a strong statement against a tough, quality fighter. I’ve been training hard to get this chance and I’m looking forward to putting together a great performance.”
The 27-year-old Tikhonov was born in Grozny and now lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia. A former decorated amateur boxer, Tikhonov finished with a record of 85-15 and is designated a “Sport Master of Russia,” a prestigious honor bestowed upon the country’s top athletes. Currently rated No. 9 by the WBA and No. 10 by the IBF and WBO, the southpaw has made his training home in Detroit for this fight.
Tikhonov said, “I came to Detroit and am training at the Kronk Gym to round out my camp. Russia has a great school of boxing and I feel very prepared. With that Kronk Gym magic, the sky is the limit. I can’t wait to show my skills to the world onAugust 4.”
The 26-year-old Jesse Angel Hernandez, of Fort Worth, Texas, compiled a 68-6 record as an amateur in Texas before turning pro in 2009. The southpaw was inactive for five years due to managerial issues and a shortage of local gyms, but has rededicated his career since returning in 2014 and has since remained active. The 5-foot-8 Hernandez comes from a boxing family and is one of 16 brothers and sisters. Nine of the boys were boxers and six turned professional, including Jose “El Loco” Hernandez, who scored a draw against former world champion Mickey Bey, and Rodrigo Hernandez, who fought to the only draw with Leo Santa Cruz.
Hernandez said, “I will do everything to entertain and make the folks giving me this opportunity proud of their decision to give me this spotlight. I have been doing this since I was a young kid. Boxing runs through my family’s blood, and I’m coming to turn people’s heads, showcase my talent, and show I’m a force to be reckoned with. Catch me throwing bombs on August 4.”
Dmitriy Salita, head of Salita Promotions, said, “Both fights are between top contenders with real aspirations for world titles soon. This is what ShoBox is all about, the best fighting the best. August 4 is going to be a memorable event, top to bottom, with the birth of new stars in several weight classes. Detroit, Mich., the birth place of numerous boxing greats, is the perfect location for this night of exciting world-class championship boxing.”
About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 69 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Errol Spence Jr. and more.
Adler & Shields to Unify Women’s Super Middleweight Division in “Battle of the Best” at MGM Grand Detroit Live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT
DETROIT (June 28, 2017) – Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields will challenge for her first world title against WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Aug. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from MGM Grand Detroit.
A native of Flint, Mich., Shields (3-0, 1 KO) is the most accomplished amateur boxer in U.S. history and the only American to capture back-to-back boxing gold medals at the Olympic Games. The 22-year-old will challenge for a world title in only her fourth professional fight against fellow undefeated Adler (16-0, 9 KOs), a German star who will make the third defense of her WBC 168-pound title. The bout will also be for the vacant IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Shields is headlining for the second time on national television, building on her history-making debut last March in what was the first women’s main event in premium television history. If Shields dethrones Adler on ShoBox, she’ll become the 70th world champion in the history of the prospect developmental series.
“It’s a huge opportunity to fight in the U.S. on SHOWTIME against Claressa Shields,” Adler said. “I am the multiple-time world champion and Claressa is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist – why not fight in the biggest matchup possible? This is a great challenge and we both will show our true potential. I know I’ll give everything I have to be successful, as I have always done. I’ve fought throughout the world, but never in the U.S. It’s really a dream to fight in the biggest women’s boxing event in 2017.
Shields said, “It is a dream come true for me to be fighting for a major world title in just my fourth professional fight. I thank the champ, Nikki Adler, and her team for accepting the challenge and for coming to the U.S. for this championship. This fight is not only a milestone for me, it also is the biggest fight of the year in women’s boxing. I want to thank SHOWTIME for their commitment to me and for their support of women’s boxing. I promise to be in the best shape of my life and to give all my fans a performance to remember.”
Gordon Hall, ShoBox: The New Generation Executive Producer and SVP of Production, SHOWTIME Sports, said, “ShoBox is about challenging prospects and making step up fights, and that’s what Shields vs. Adler is all about. Claressa is returning to ShoBox in a unique opportunity to not only face her toughest opponent to date but to challenge a world champion and look to unify the division in only her fourth fight. The matchup and stakes speak for themselves. We are proud to continue to deliver the best prospects in competitive matchups.”
Promoter Dmitriy Salita, said, “I am thrilled to be promoting what I expect will be the biggest women’s boxing event of 2017. Claressa Shields is on a quest to make history and is seeking to become a world champion in only her fourth professional bout less than a year after winning her second Olympic Gold Medal. Shields vs. Adler is the kind of matchup we expect from great fighters. These two women, both skilled, both determined, are certain to give fans around the world, and those watching on ShoBox, an action-packed fight that is fought at the highest level. It will be a night to remember where the sports world may see the emergence of a new star.”
Shields’ co-manager, Mark Taffet, said, “This second main event telecast on SHOWTIME represents yet another historic step forward in the journey of Claressa Shields. Claressa is committed, in return, to pursuing the biggest and best fights available as the profile of women’s boxing in the U.S. and around the world continues to grow. This world title fight against Nikki Adler, a monumental challenge for Claressa in only her fourth pro fight, shows how committed Claressa is to fulfilling her dreams and leading the sport to unprecedented levels.”
The 30-year-old Adler, a Croatian fighting out of Augsburg, Bayern, Germany, will make her U.S. debut against Shields. A former German amateur champion, Adler will make her third defense of the WBC crown she won in 2013 via unanimous decision against Zane Brige in Russia.
In 2015, Adler defeated Szabados via unanimous decision in her first defense of the WBC belt, and knocked out Elene Sikmashvili in her second defense in 2016. In March of this year, she won the vacant WIBF and GBU World Super Middleweight Championships by unanimous decision over Mery Rancier.
Shields compiled an amateur record of 77-1 record and won her first Olympic Gold when she was only 17 years old in the inaugural women’s boxing competition at the London Games in 2012. She won a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and turned professional three months later.
In March 2017 at MGM Grand Detroit, Shields stopped Hungary’s Szilvia Szabados in four rounds to win the NABF Super Middleweight Championship, in the first women’s main event in premium television history. In her most recent bout on June 16, Shields defeated Sydney LeBlanc via a unanimous eight-round decision to capture the WBC Silver Super Middleweight title.
Active in her community, Shields advocates for several social issues and serves as an inspirational figure in her hometown of Flint, a city beset by problems.
Undercard bouts for the ShoBox telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.
About ShoBox: The New Generation