When Claressa Shields found out that her fight against Christina Hammer, originally set for November 2018, was off due to Hammer dealing with a medical issue, Shields wasted no time in gaining more in-ring experience and adding to her growing collection of world titles.
After the first attempt at making the fight to crown women's boxing first undisputed middleweight champion was unsuccessful, Shields had a couple of fights at the end of 2018. Firstly, Shields fought on DAZN, defeating Hannah Rankin to defend her WBA and IBF titles while winning the WBC title. Shields then competed on the final HBO-televised boxing card of 2018, defeating Femke Hermans to retain all three of her belts.
In a recent conference call, Shields was asked by Fightful about getting the opportunity to fight two more fights and gain more experience as a pro. Instead of fighting Hammer last year with a 6-0 record, Shields will get the chance to make history on April 13 with an 8-0 record and 20 additional rounds in her resume.
"Just because she was sick, doesn't mean I was sick. At the time, I was 5-0, 6-0, so I wanted to get more fights under my belt. With the time that I had, I wanted to take advantage of that. I've only been a pro for two years. I still had things to learn and the only way to learn is to get inside the ring and fight. I've been able to have 20 more rounds in that time and it was great for me and it helped with my experience," Shields said.
But don't let Shields' delight at getting two more fights confuse you with thinking she couldn't beat Hammer if the two had met last year. Shields reiterated that she would have defeated Hammer with even less pro experience.
"I still would have won the fight if it took place on November 17. I'm happy with the things that I learned. But it wouldn't have been a different outcome. It probably would have been a little tougher with the things I hadn't experienced back then. Either way, if we would have won on November 17. Even when I had my second or third pro fight, I still would have won," Shields said.
Shields vs. Hammer is scheduled to headline a Showtime-televised card from Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 13. The winner of the fight walks away with the undisputed WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine middleweight titles.