Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer headline co-main events on Showtime

Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME /

Boxing champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer have co-main events on Showtime Boxing. Their bouts preview a possible future female mega-fight.

Women’s boxing is far behind women’s MMA in popularity, but Claressa Shields (5-0, 2 KOs) and Christina Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) have the potential to increases its popularity among fight fans. They headline co-main events Friday, June 22, on Showtime.

Shields is young at 23 years old, but she has accomplished a lot in the sport of boxing. She won gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She’s not a dynamic knockout puncher, but she’s a skilled boxer with an inspiring backstory.

Shields is a strong role model, who empowers females to break through gender inequalities. She showed interest in boxing at a young age but was discouraged from pursuing the sport. Shields was told that it’s a man’s sport. She didn’t let gender stereotypes dissuade her from pursuing her dreams.

During her lifetime, Shields has endured sexism and sexual abuse but she didn’t allow these traumas to define or hinder her. She’s a fighter through and through. In only five professional fights, she’s won the WBC and IBF super middleweight titles. She’s moving down a weight class in order to attempt to add the WBA and IBF middleweight titles to her collection.

She fights Hanna Gabriels (18-1-1, 11 KOs) for a chance to become a two-division champion in her sixth professional fight. Gabriels is the best opponent Shields has faced in her professional career and a legitimate threat to her undefeated record.

Gabriels has the experience advantage over Shields but is much older than Shields at 35 years old. She is the current WBA and WBO super welterweight champion and is moving up in weight to fight Shields. Shields should have a significant weight advantage over Gabriels on fight night.

If Shields wins, her credibility will grow. She has the chance to become the face of women’s boxing.

Christina Hammer fights in the co-main event and also has superstar potential. The 27-year-old German is known for her fighting ability and beautiful looks. When not in the ring, she has a successful career as a model. But don’t be fooled by her beauty—she is a proven boxing champion.

Hammer won her first middleweight title in 2010 and has held a title ever since. Currently, she is the reigning WBC and WBO middleweight champion. Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) challenges Hammer for her titles.

Nelson shouldn’t pose much of challenge to Hammer. Nelson only has two knockouts in 21 bouts. She has to out-box Hammer if she wants to win which is highly unlikely. Hammer has all of the physical advantages over Nelson. At 41 years old, Nelson is 14 years older than Hammer. Hammer stands at 5-foot-11, which gives her a 5-inch height advantage over Nelson.

Look for Hammer to batter the smaller Nelson. Nelson has never been knocked out, but Hammer will put her chin to the test.

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If Shields and Hammer win the respective bouts, look for them to meet in the near future to decide who is the unified middleweight champion. Shields and Hammer have the ability to put women’s boxing in the spotlight. They need to win impressively on Friday. If they do, they could set up a women’s boxing mega-fight.