Flint boxer Claressa "T-Rex" Shields has one more obstacle in her quest to claim the undisputed middleweight world champion women's boxing champtionship -- fighting Christina Hammer Saturday night in Atlantic City.
The Detroit News checks in with a feature on Shields, 23, as she counts down the days before the fight at Boardwalk Hall. Shields won two Olympic gold medals in the sport, new to the Games for women, in 2012 and 2016 before turning pro. Since then, she's been undefeated as she seeks the unified title. Only Hammer stands in her way. And it's been a trash-talking ride along the way, particularly to this fight:
“[Hammer] has tried to make people choose who looks better in a bikini. All this stupid stuff that don’t matter in boxing,” Shields said.
“She may be OK with people thinking that kind of stuff, but I’m more satisfied with the boxing part of it, the getting inside the ring and fighting part, because that’s what my life is built around, you know? Fighting.”
...The two engaged in a scuffle during a post-fight interview following Shields’ win over Hanna Gabriels at the Masonic Temple in Detroit last June, and Hammer has been vocal about rooting for Shields to lose previous bouts.
The fight will be the main event of "Showtime Boxing: Special Edition" on the cable channel Saturday night.
Shields grew up in Flint, but today lives and trains in Florida.