NEW YORK – February 12, 2019 – Undefeated middleweight world champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will meet on Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME to crown the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion. The blockbuster unification from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. will be the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is arguably the most significant women’s boxing event in history.
Shields vs. Hammer features two of the consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world squaring off to crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history. The fight, originally scheduled for November 2018, was postponed due to a now-resolved medical issue suffered by Hammer.
The 23-year-old Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division champion who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC 160-pound titles. The 28-year-old Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) owns the WBO belt, is the WBC Champion in Recess, and has dominated the women’s middleweight division for more than eight years. Shields and Hammer fought on the same card last June on SHOWTIME, with both fighters winning impressively to set up the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division.
The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.
Shields vs. Hammer is promoted by Salita Promotions. Ticket prices and on-sale date will be announced next week by Boardwalk Hall.
“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. “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.”
“I have waited a long time for this moment,” said Hammer. “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.”
“SHOWTIME Sports has a long history of featuring the best in women’s combat sports, whether it was with Laila Ali and Christy Martin in boxing, or Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in MMA,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “More recently, since 2016 we have featured today’s elite with Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano appearing in an industry-leading 10 presentations of women’s boxing. Male or female, SHOWTIME has delivered the best fighters in their toughest matchups, and April 13 will be no different. We have two of the best pound-for-pound female fighters in the world facing each other with all four middleweight titles at stake. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
“The biggest women’s fight of all time is set to take place on April 13 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita.“Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer, both champions, both in their prime, are not only taking on the biggest challenge in their respective careers by meeting each other in the ring, but are breaking barriers for boxing and for women in sports. April 13 is destined to be an electric and historic night of boxing live on SHOWTIME.”
“Shields vs. Hammer is the biggest and most important fight in women’s boxing history – two undefeated unified champions in their prime battling for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world,” said Shields’ manager Mark Taffet. “Christina Hammer is indeed a very good fighter and champion, but Claressa Shields is once-in-a-lifetime. The same intense focus and determination that got Claressa through life, earned her two Olympic gold medals, and won her five world titles in eight pro fights will carry her to victory on April 13.”
“We are very excited to bring world-class championship boxing back to Atlantic City’s Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall,” said Matt Doherty, Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. “This reinforces the CRDA’s commitment to attract world-class sporting events and increase visitors to our destination.”
Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. The Flint, Mich., native turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight for her June 22 headliner on SHOWTIME, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles and become a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest. After Hammer was named WBC Champion in Recess due to her medical issue, Shields picked up the vacant WBC title last November with a unanimous decision over Hannah Rankin. She most recently defended all three titles in December against Femke Hermans.
Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has been the dominant force in the women’s middleweight division since winning the WBO title in 2010. Hammer became unified champion in 2016 with a unanimous decision over WBC titlist Kali Reis and made four defenses as unified champion. In her eight years as champion, Hammer has lost just a handful of rounds across 16 world title fights. Hammer, who also models professionally and was recently featured at Fashion Week in New York City, made her U.S. debut on June 22 after campaigning mostly in Germany since turning professional in 2009. After being forced to withdraw from the November unification due to the health issue, Hammer won a non-title fight via second round knockout last Saturday, February 9 in Germany.
The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.