Espinoza On Shields’ Development

Showtime executive, Stephen Espinoza knew that Claressa Shields had the potential to be a special fighter, but didn’t think that she would advance as much as she’s had in less than 14 months.

Shields in just her fourth professional fight, won the IBF and WBC super middleweight championships.

Shields will headline her third “ShoBox: The New Generation” against Tori Nelson in Verona, New York,on January 12th, and if she is able to defeat Nelson, she’ll take another step toward a fight with Christina Hammer.

“She has progressed a lot more quickly than any of us expected,” Espinoza told

“When we started working with her, we didn’t really expect that she would be headlining ‘ShoBox’ cards so quickly or that she’d be winning a title as quickly as she has. But she’s got a lot of really great assets. She’s got a great story, she’s really outgoing and personable, and perhaps most important to us, she’s a really entertaining fighter.”

Shields made a statement in her last fight, when she gave Nikki Adler her first loss on August 4th in Detroit.The Flint, Michigan, native won her two titles by ending Adler in the fifth round at the MGM Grand Detroit.

“You can see she has made a tremendous amount of progress thus far even in her short professional career,” Espinoza said. “You can tell that she’s a really top-tier athlete because, as strange as it sounds, she has gotten better every fight. And I think she’s even a much more talented and skilled fighter now than she was early in 2017.

“I think the sky is the limit for her. The pace of her career is going at a very fast clip, so there’s nothing that isn’t on the table for her in any weight class that’s not in the general vicinity of where she is now.”

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