Shields Would Drop To 154 For Braekhus
After her much-anticipated fight against Christina Hammer would be cancelled due to a Hammer medical issue, Claressa Shields returns to the ring on Saturday looking to remain undefeated.
Even though it won’t be against Hammer, Shields still gets one step closer to unification as she battle Hannah Rankin for the vacant WBC title also on the line.
Hammer, the current WBO champion would be stripped of the title following her cancellation of the Shields fight.
“I’m thrilled to be able to continue my road to undisputed this weekend,” said Shields. “Christina has first in line when I win the belt on Saturday, it’s not a fight that we are looking to avoid. If she’d been fit to face me then that would be the fight this weekend. I wanted that fight bad.
“I felt that when we did the phone interview and we announced that we were fighting, I sensed in her tone that something was wrong, that she wasn’t as excited as I was about the fight. She didn’t seem happy, and as a champion I sensed something was wrong and I was right as she was sick. As soon as she comes back, we can fight.
“Hannah has been Christina’s toughest sparring partner so I am going to make her pay just for that,” Shields said of Rankin. “It’s not a let down for me, just getting in the ring and being able to fight is a joy to me, it makes me happy. Hannah has turned down another fight to take this shot and we’re fighting as a co-main event on DAZN, so it should be fun.”
Shields is also looking not just beyond this fight, but beyond her division, eyeing a return to Super-Middleweight, or even dropping down to super-welterweight to meet current undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus in a battle of pound-for-pound fighters.
“None of the girls at 168lbs want to fight me,” said Shields. “We’ve offered the fight to Alicia (Napoleon) many times and fights to so many of them, they’ve all said I’m too big and they are too little, then they say we don’t offer good money – but we have TV and we’re offering good money for sure.
“Alicia just wants to stay unbeaten and protected, I can’t even name any other fighters that she’s fought other than Hannah as I wouldn’t be approved by the commission to fight some of those girls.
“I think I can go as low as 154lbs and I would do that to fight Cecilia for the pound-for-pound spot. I don’t want to go to 147lbs as I would only be able to win the fight and not go on to defend the belts. She can keep her belts, I just want the pound-for-pound spot – she can have the belts and be number two, I’m number one. We can meet at 154lbs, that would be huge.”
Initial Reports: Boxing Scene