It was supposed to be the sort of matchup that propelled women’s boxing into a sort of limelight, but Claressa Shields inadvertently prevented that from happening.
Shields was pitted against fellow unbeaten world champion Christina Hammer in the main event of a Showtime-televised card at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Saturday night, but it was about as one-sided as a championship bout could come. Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) neutralized the Kazakhstani fighter from the start and never looked back, leaving much to be desired in terms of two-way action.
But credit must be given to Shields, who boxed circles around Hammer (24-1, 11 KOs) and made her look amateurish at times during their 10-round affair. Shields led with crisp punches when she wanted and countered Hammer’s attacks when needed. “T-Rex” moved beautifully throughout the contest and in turn, boxed her foe’s ears off.
After the final bell sounded, Shields added Hammer’s WBO middleweight title to her collection of 160-pound belts, which already included the WBC, WBA and IBF straps. All three ringside judges favored Shields with a score of 98-92.
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