Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields dominated previously undefeated Tori Nelson en route to a 10-round unanimous decision in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday on SHOWTIME from Turning Stone Resort Casino.
Shields controlled from opening to closing bell, sweeping 100-90 on all three judges’ scorecards in the first 10-round distance fight of her career. The 2012 and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist out-landed Nelson 225-81 with her total punches, 186-70 in powers shots, and connected at a 44 percent clip with her power shots compared to just 20 percent for Nelson.
“I landed every shot that I thought possible to land,” Shields said. “She was tough, she wasn’t a pushover. She put on a good fight.”
Shields advanced to 5-0 with two knockouts in what was likely her final fight in the super middleweight division. The 22-year-old now has her sights set on the middleweight division where she will eventually target undefeated and Unified Women’s Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer, who was ringside Friday in Verona.
“I have to drop down and see how I feel (first),” Shields said. “I think I could make 160 easy, I’m going to be bigger and stronger than any girl.
“Hammer just wants to scope. I think she’s pretty scared to be honest. She is more worried about me than I am about her. I’m going to kick Hammer’s ass. People think Hammer is more skilled than me so I can’t wait to show her that she’s not.”
Hammer, who is expected to fight in a co-featured bout on the next Shields card, was interviewed by SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood and expressed excitement to make her U.S. debut and eventually face the American champion.
“It’s a great combination me and her on the same card,” Hammer said. “I can’t wait to show the fans who Christina Hammer is. That will be the best fight ever. It will be the game-changer for female boxing. It’s our time to shine.
“I’m long-time world champion and I have more experience. I have longer reach, I’m tall, I have good footwork and better technique than her. I feel the energy, and I can’t wait to fight against her.”
The former world champion Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) became the 173 undefeated fighter to suffer their first professional on ShoBox: The New Generation.
“I’m not happy because I didn’t win, but other than that I thought I executed pretty well,” said the 41-year-old Nelson. “I gave her a better fight than she was expecting.
“No disrespect to Claressa, she doesn’t have great power. She has great speed and she overwhelms you with a lot of punches. My movement threw her off like I knew it would but knowing she was the champion, I needed to just push a little bit more.”
All photos by Marilyn Paulino