Shields vs Hammer: Undefeated champions make weight ahead of unification fight
Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer clash in a 10-rounder, with all four of the major world middleweight titles up for grabs
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 13/04/19 12:39am
Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer both made weight ahead of their historic middleweight unification showdown at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night.
The undefeated champions goaded each other when they went face-to-face during a lively weigh-in for what has been billed as the 'biggest fight in women's boxing history'.
Double Olympic champion Shields (8-0, 2KOs), who will put her IBF, WBA and WBC titles on the line, tipped the scales 159.4lbs, while WBO rival Hammer (24-0, 11KOs) came in at 159lbs.
"I've played this fight in my head many times," said American Shields. "The first round is a very important round. She'll find out just how strong I am in the first round and I'm going to let her know she's in with a fighter.
"I'm going to let her know she won't control this fight in any aspect. I can outbox Hammer. I'm way faster and I have great head movement. I came to fight. I want to see where her heart is and how strong she is. If she's not as strong as she says she is, she's going to want to get out of there."
Hammer, who has a three-inch height and reach advantage, said: "I feel like I'm the stronger one, mentally. I showed her at the stare down that I'm not scared. Every fight, there's a mental battle and I think I won the mental battle for this fight.
"I have to stick to my game plan and not worry about hers. Shields is beatable. Hanna Gabriels showed that. I have to make her pay for every mistake. We've analysed her a lot and I've known for a long time that I would one day fight her."