Christina Hammer takes on Tori Nelson as part of the historic women’s boxing card on Showtime, an exciting co-main event shared with Claressa Shields versus Hanna Gabriels. Many fight fans have longed to see Hammer and Shields face off, but Hammer is treating Nelson (who already fought Shields) as a serious opponent.
Though fight fans view this as a step-up fight for Hammer to fight Shields, 41-year-old Nelson is a top contender that should not be dismissed.
She has just one blemish on her record, and has fought quality opponents over the years. Hammer is an undefeated fighter from Germany, hungry to make a name for herself in the division and the sport.
The best part about this historic card isn’t just that it’s women’s boxing as the co-main event. It’s that we’re seeing quality women’s boxing as a headliner, which is important for visibility, and to show that women’s competition can be an exciting draw.
Check out our keys for Tori Nelson to see what it will take for her to score a victory.
3 Keys to Victory for Tori Nelson
Nelson isn’t defensively-sound but she can move her head moderately well once she gets her opponent’s timing down. But until she’s collected enough data on Hammer, she needs to focus on simple head movement—slips, bobs, rolls—to keep herself a moving target.
Asking Nelson to move her head mid-combination is a tall order (old habits die hard), so her best bet is to actively move it in between combinations.
If Nelson can become a moving target, she becomes more difficult to hit. That’s just about the only defensive advantage she has with her stance and fighting style.
Because Hammer is so tall, Nelson is going to have a hard time getting shots to the head. Her game plan should be for the bulk of her combinations to attack the body first. Hammer has a pretty decent sized torso, so there’s room there for Nelson to attack.
Since Hammer is expecting to work primarily on the outside, hitting to the body will make her uncomfortable and create an opportunity for Nelson to set up some shots to the head.
If Nelson sticks with the first key to victory, head movement, she can sneak her way around Hammer’s reach and start to control the action.
Work on the Inside
Nelson should be careful not to rush in like a bull to get to the body. She needs to be aggressive but strategic. If she goes in for the kill too quickly, she’ll become frustrated by Hammer’s long reach, and that will literally play into her opponent’s hand. She needs to stay close and continually work combinations (primarily to the body first) so that Hammer will be forced to answer to her inside work.
Shorter fighters always have the obvious physical disadvantage, but one of the beautiful things about having shorter arms is the greater advantage on the inside. Usually a taller fighter will take longer to deliver their inside punches, and they typically have a long torso that’s difficult to protect.
Nelson has to bait Hammer into working on the inside and getting her to brawl. There’s nothing worse for a opponent than making them forget their purpose, so Nelson needs to make Hammer fight her fight.
All photos by Laura Ming Wong/RBRBoxing
Merissa Dyer is a certified personal trainer who began boxing at age 17. Boxing originally attracted Merissa’s interest because of its next-level conditioning that could challenge her body and mind. She especially hopes to be a fearless example to women and encourage their participation in the sport.