Super middleweight women’s champion Claressa Shields completely outworked and outclassed Tori Nelson, on Friday night, handing Nelson her first professional loss while retaining her WBC and IBF world title belts at Turning Stone Hotel and Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Shields was the headliner on Showtime’s ShoBox: the New Generation fight card for the fourth time in five professional fights.
The 22-year-old Shields, the USA’s only two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist, male or female, won all 10 rounds on each of the three judges’ scorecards.
Nelson 17-0-3 (2 KOs), absorbed tremendous punishment throughout the fight, but Shields was unable to put the gritty 41-year-old from Ashburn, Va., down, despite landing 144 more punches overall than her opponent. Shields connected on 186 of 425 power punches, while Nelson, who came in with a reputation of being an aggressive fighter, landed just 70 of 348 (20%).
Shields (5-0, 2 KOs) went strong to the body as well, landing 63 body shots to 21 for Nelson, who has a son as old as Shields and who works as a part-time waitress and school bus driver to supplement her boxing earnings.
“I landed every shot that I could possibly land,” Shields, from Flint, Mich., said afterwards. “She was just tough. You know, 17-0, two knockouts. She wasn’t a pushover. And a lot of times when I did see shots open and I went for them, I got head-butted so I stopped going in because I didn’t want to get head-butted. But she was definitely tough and fought a good fight.”
Shields plans on going down to 160 pounds in the near future, possibly next, to fight undefeated middleweight champion Christina Hammer of Germany, who was ringside for the fight.
“I think she’s scared to fight me, to be honest,” Shields said. “She was supposed to fight on the undercard today and she didn’t want me to see her. She’s more worried about me than I am of her.
“I’m going to kick Hammer’s ass. They think she’s a better fighter than me and I can’t wait to show her she isn’t.”
Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) said she couldn’t wait to make her U.S. debut. “It’s a great combination me and her on the same card,” she said. “I can’t wait to show the fans who Christina Hammer is. That will be the best fight ever. It will be the game-changer for female boxing. It’s our time to shine.”