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Shields, Hammer unification fight set for April

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports


Shields, Hammer unification fight set for April

After a delay, the stage is now set for unbeaten middleweight champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer to finally square off on April 13 to proclaim an undisputed women’s champion at 160 pounds.

The fight, which will be televised on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is considered by some to be the most significant event in women’s boxing history. Originally planned to take place last November, the fight was delayed when Hammer withdrew because of a medical condition that has now been resolved.

Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) has been in the gathering victories in consecutive months over Hannah Rankin and a one-sided affair against Femke Hermans to defend her IBF, WBA and WBC titles.

“I always seek the biggest challenges and set the highest goals. I will be ready like never before and will defeat Christina Hammer on April 13,” said Shields to the media. “Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights. I want to be the greatest of all time and change the game forever for all women in sports, and April 13 is an important step on that road to history.”

Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs), has dominated the women’s middleweight division for the last eight years. The one time WBC women’s champion last competed in June 2018, in a unanimous decision win over Tori Nelson.

This fight first ever four-belt unification bout in women’s middleweight history, with the winner joining current undisputed women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, alongside men’s champions Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk as the only fighters to hold all four recognized titles in the same division.

“I have waited a long time for this moment,” said Hammer to the press. “I am bigger, stronger and more experienced than Claressa Shields. I am undefeated and have been a champion for over eight years. I can’t wait to show the world that I am the best and undisputed middleweight champion of the world.”

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Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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