Shields vs Hammer: pros' predictions
Luke G. Williams
IBF, WBC and WBA champion Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) faces WBO champion Christina Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) for the undisputed middleweight world championship this Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Four leading figures from the world of female boxing give Boxing Monthly their predictions for the fight...
You would have to go for Shields just because it’s in the United States - Hammer will have to knock her out to get a draw! It’s hard on the road and against any of the American stars - you start four rounds down in my opinion. That’s not to say it can’t be done, if Hammer has travelled well and got the weight right. I do think that in Germany Hammer would outpoint Shields, whose boxing skills wouldn’t touch girls like Lucia Rijker and Ann Wolfe. Hammer is the better boxer, I'm just not sure she can take a shot from Shields. Anne Sophie Mathis hurt her in a no-contest earlier in her career. - Jane Couch MBE
My prediction is a cagey first couple of rounds, with Hammer using her footwork and keeping her distance. I think Claressa will start closing the gap as the fight goes on, letting her shots go and staying on Hammer. I think a Shields win by points. - Chantelle Cameron
To be honest I don't know enough about Hammer, but from a Claressa fan's standpoint, I think she wins on points - I won't predict any stoppages. Hammer has been a champion for a long time - regardless of the standard of competition put in front of her that's something you have to respect. I think for women's boxing this fight could be monumental. Men or women, everyone loves a grudge match! - Natasha Jonas
I think this is a genuine 50/50 female superfight. I think it comes down to which fighter manages to impose their game plan best. As I know, Claressa is fast and throws a lot of punches but having sparred hundreds of rounds with Christina, I believe her reach and technical ability will prevail if she can keep her game plan going for the ten rounds. My prediction is Hammer wins on points. - Hannah Rankin