Sport

Shields wants to lift women's boxing into mainstream

Shields wants to lift women's boxing into mainstream”

The victor will become just the sixth boxer and the second woman (women's welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus was the first to be undisputed) to hold all four major sanctioning-body titles simultaneously in the modern four-belt era. Hammer watched that fight ringside, then created a skirmish when she stepped into the ring to confront Shields.

The soft-spoken Hammer is known for her patience in the ring as she gradually wears her opponents down, as opposed to Shields' explosive style. "But when people refer to this fight as "the most important" or "the biggest" women's boxing match in history, it's actually an accurate statement because of the caliber of these two athletes". Hammer talked with Sporting News right after the final press conference Wednesday about fighting Shields, competing in America, what the fight means for younger women and more. Can you get a sense of anything out of that or do people make too much of those? I believe that I can put Christina Hammer out. She pushed me to do it and finish my university.

"I'm very confident and I can't wait to show everyone why I'm 24-0 and been a champion for as long as I've been". Not because I don't think that I can beat her, but because of the spotlight, I don't want to let my fans down.

"I don't know, I don't have a relationship with her", Hammer said. "We are fighting Saturday evening now". Jermaine Franklin has never been in with somebody with the talent and experience that I have. We work hard, [but] we get less money and less recognition. Now being here for awhile, it has made me feel great. It would be very easy as a competitor to say that you're not going to get into that extra stuff.

CH: My family is very sporty.

Rydell Booker “Ive been boxing since I was seven years old. Growing up, I'd always been bigger than everyone. "We're doing it because it's a really good fight". Im a better fighter than I was 15 years ago because Im smarter and stronger mentally. But it was very tough for me.

"I'm just being myself". It was frustrating at times because it was one against one, but then I realized I was better than them.

SN: If you didn't get into boxing, what would you have done with your life?

CH: I would have gone into poker or racing. I have the ability to be an effective counter-puncher and I can fight when I need to. I could have been a professional poker player because I like [cards] a lot, especially blackjack. In this fight, I'm focused 110 percent. I worked hard in the past and I've prepared for everything. Ive checked all the boxes for this fight. It's her introduction to the masses and the time that she can prove that her brash talk is more than just words.

CH: I feel it is the biggest of all time because of what me and Claressa have done and because of everyone talking about it so much. "On (fight night), whoever has the better game plan will win, and that will be me". Yet Shields has talked openly about Hammer's preference to stay in Germany and not seek unifications, meaning she doesn't believe Hammer has ever faced a fighter as quick or as skilled as her. The top three fighters are really good.

At stake in Saturday's 10-round unification bout is the undisputed women's middleweight world championship. It still hasn't gotten to that point yet in boxing.

The unbeaten fighter is determined to vindicate Dmitry Salita, who signed the heavyweight past year, and start proving his worth at the top end of the heavyweight division.

In Hammer versus Shields, you have a fight of great importance and two accomplished boxers in their physical prime. "Now the time has come and we're ready for the fight and I'm ready to be the undisputed champion", Hammer told Fightful.

Shields and Hammer are the first female boxers featured on Showtime's All Access YouTube sports channel.

The Saturday Showtime megafight is monumental for women's boxing, but Hammer has numerous obstacles to overcome. I came to fight. I am undefeated and have been a champion for over eight years. My job is to beat her and afterwards, we can be friendly.



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