The MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan played host to last night’s edition of ShoBox: The New Generation featuring a title bout between WBC Super Middleweight Champion Nikki Adler (16-1) and 2-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields (4-0).
Just around an hour away from her hometown of Flint, Shields had plenty of supporters in the crowd including Kevin Hart and Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns; Barry Sanders even showed Claressa some love during fight week when she attended Lions training camp. On the other end of the spectrum you had the champion, Adler, who traveled well over 4,000 miles to defend her title against boxing’s biggest up and coming female star.
Along with Adler’s WBC Super Middleweight strap, the vacant IBF Super Middleweight title was also up for grabs in the main event of the evening. Shields made her walk to the ring with an entourage that included rapper Lyric Da Queen (who rapped about Shields the whole way there) and her close friend and sparring partner, UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino’, among others.
With only 3 professional fights under her belt to Adler’s 16, we thought this one would be a little more competitive. Boy, were we wrong. The statistics for this fight were kind of silly but in this case they really tell the story of the fight. From the word go, Shields played the role of aggressor while Adler played the role of human punching bag. Shields landed 136/340 of her strikes while Adler was only successful on 6 out of 84. The referee in charge was forced to stop the contest at the 1:34 marker of the 5th round after repeatedly asking Adler and her corner to show him something in between rounds. She did anything but.
Following the contest, when asked if this win meant more to her than capturing Olympic gold, Shields told the crowd that she was feeling happier now that she was on TV “getting some money” in Detroit in front of her family and friends. She would be joined by the undefeated WBO and WBC middleweight champion out of Germany, Christina Hammer (21-0), who entered the ring to engage with Shields after the biggest victory of her short pro boxing career. The two women exchanged some pleasantries that we’ll see plenty more of in future promo packages before their inevitable collision.
Is there anyone in this sport that can challenge Shields? Or are we looking at boxing’s version of Ronda Rousey moving forward? We’ll get a better picture when we see Shields and Hammer go toe-to-toe in the not so distant future. Until then, enjoy the handiwork of “T-Rex” below via the fine folks over at ShoBox.
image – TrappFotos / SHOWTIME