Hammer says Shields fight will change women's boxing

Claressa Shields works out Thursday in anticipation of Saturday's bout with Christina Hammer

Claressa Shields works out Thursday in anticipation of Saturday's bout with Christina Hammer

On Saturday, April 13, Showtime Boxing returns from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., for Shields vs. Hammer.

Top American heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will take on former No. 1-ranked USA amateur Rydell Booker in the 10-round co-featured bout while undefeated Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin will battle highly decorated amateur Nick Kisner in a 10-round clash that will open the tripleheader.

She enjoys a 3-inch height and reach advantage over Shields. I dont even feel like theres a fight; I feel very calm and I always fight better when I feel this way. "I've done a lot for women's boxing in just these last two years". The conditioning, the nutrition, the training, everything. In this fight, I'm focused 110 percent. "Now it's time to fight". The first round is a very important round.

Shields is only a slight favorite in this bout however, as many feel Hammer could be a step too far for the double Olympic Gold medallist from Flint.

"When I beat Christina Hammer on Saturday, I want everyone's headline to say "Shields nails the Hammer". Im way faster and I have great head movement.

In the dream scenario, Shields would come out harder in the 10th than she had in any of the first nine rounds, catch Hammer with a shot, and then rally to dramatically finish her in the waning seconds.

In a recent conference call Fightful participated in, Hammer was asked about her feelings at the time of the fight being postponed.

"If I was a man, I would probably be one of the most famous boxers out there", Shields said. Of course she doesn't like me, but she can say whatever she wants to say to the media, but I already know for a fact she doesn't like me. This fight is bigger than me.”. It helps prepare me for those times I have to do it. (Broadcaster) Showtime really believes in this fight. I showed her at the stare down that Im not scared. Shields is beatable. Hanna Gabriels showed that.

"I don't get mad when she talks about me being jealous of her face". You have seen how prepared she is for this fight. "She just doesn't have anything to say". It shows them we have worked hard to get here and you can also do it working just as hard. I have to use every credit I have. "I've pushed myself so hard because I know Claressa is a hard opponent". "We as women have to get this". He likes to be a little cute in the ring and I think he'll try to be tricky early on.

" I think this is really a game changer for women's boxing and for the sport", declared Hammer. I will capitalize on his weaknesses. Thats a mindset that Ill always have, but I understand how boxing works and I might have to wait for my time. Having campaigned nearly exclusively as a cruiserweight, don't expect him to be able to live with the physicality of his southpaw opponent.

Rydell Booker “Ive been boxing since I was seven years old. On paper once again, I'm supposed to lose. I love my face, I love my teeth, I love my body shape.

“I have a gift that a lot of fighters dont have. I have a good jab. I like the need for speed.

CH: It was an excellent experience for me. Im a better fighter than I was 15 years ago because Im smarter and stronger mentally. Im used to the training. Can you get a sense of anything out of that or do people make too much of those?

Having given up a mandatory challenger position for the European title - against Agit Kabayel - he won't be looking to hang around and Nick Kisner, let's have it straight, is merely an opponent created to ease Wallin back in after over a year out. I think hes one of the best heavyweights out there. This is a great opportunity.

"I think she's shook".

On Saturday night live on Showtime all shall be revealed.

It's not often in boxing that one division is set for an undisputed championship fight, what with all the various sanctioning bodies, mandatory challengers, promoters and networks constantly messing things up.

Showtime is banking on it a major showcase for women's boxing and, accordingly, will broadcast it live (9:10 p.m.).

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