Flint's Claressa Shields to fight Christina Hammer for middleweight crown April 13

The Detroit News
Flint's Claressa Shields (pictured) and Christina Hammer will square off in a unification bout for the middleweight crown April 13 in Atlantic City, N.J.

The bout between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer is on, once again.

Shields, a Flint native and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Hammer will fight for the undisputed women's middleweight world championship on April 13 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The unification bout will be the main event as part of Showtime Boxing: Special Edition, which starts at 9 p.m.

“I always seek the biggest challenges and set the highest goals. I will be ready like never before and will defeat Christina Hammer on April 13,” Shields said in a statement from Showtime. “Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights. I want to be the greatest of all time and change the game forever for all women in sports, and April 13 is an important step on that road to history.”

Shields, 23, is 8-0 with two knockouts, and holds 160-pound titles with the IBF, WBA and WBC. Hammer, 28, is 24-0 with 11 knockouts, and holds the WBO belt, and is the WBC champion "in recess."

The winner April 13 will become one of six boxers who have unified all four major world titles in any weight class. Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus are the others.

The Shields-Hammer tilt originally was scheduled for Nov. 17 last year, but was put on hold in October because Hammer had an undisclosed medical condition that halted her training indefinitely.

“I have waited a long time for this moment,” Hammer said in the news release. “I am bigger, stronger and more experienced than Claressa Shields. I am undefeated and have been a champion for over eight years. I can’t wait to show the world that I am the best and undisputed middleweight champion of the world.”