(July 21st ) German WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler is hard at work for her Friday, August 4 title defense against two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa "T-Rex" Shields.
Adler (16-0, 9 KOs) will make the third defense of her WBC 168-pound title, and try to add the IBF Super Middleweight belt to her collection, against Flint, Michigan's Shields (3-0, 1 KO) in the 10-round main event of Salita Promotions' "BATTLE OF THE BEST" event at MGM Grand Detroit and Televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10;30 p.m. ET/PT)
In the night's televised co-main, junior welterweight KO artist Bakhtiyar "Bakha Bullet" Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) will face undefeated prospect Sonny "Pretty Boi" Fredrickson (17-0, 11 KOs) over 10-rounds and to open the telecast, world-ranked super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov (16-0, 9 KOs) of Russia will face Texas slugger Jesse Angel Hernandez (8-1, 6 KOs) over eight rounds.
Tickets for the event promoted by Salita Promotions are on sale now and are priced at $350, $250, $125 and $60. They will be available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Adler says the only adjustment to fighting in the North America for the first time is to improve her English. And if she's concerned about facing Shields, the only American to capture back-to-back boxing gold medals at the Olympic Games, she's not showing it. She hasn't even watched tape of Shields' meteoric three-fight professional career. In fact, Adler and trainer Rene Friese are asking Americans not to take it personally when their hero falters against her.
How is training going?
It is going great! I work hard and I am very focused. My trainer is very satisfied with me and my progress. We entered training camp a few weeks ago, already had great tough sparring and I will be very well prepared to defend what's mine: the green belt.
Did you prepare any differently for this fight compared to your others?
Yes, but it has nothing to do with Claressa. At the beginning of the year, I changed my trainer who brought me and my boxing skills to a new incredible level. I am better, faster and stronger. This feels amazing!
What do you think of Shields as a fighter?
To be honest, I've never watched her fight, but I am sure Claressa is a fighter from the bottom of her heart. So am I. This will create magic moments on August 4.
Does it make any difference to fight in North America for the first time?
Yes, because I need to improve my English. I speak German and Croatian fluently and will do my very best to thank Claressa personally for a great fight and to tell her without any translator that she can be proud that she took the challenge and one day she will be a champion too - maybe at middleweight.
What would a victory over Claressa Shields mean to you?
How do you feel about the recent resurgence of women's boxing?
Our fight announcement rocked the media, the fans and lot of other boxers who want to be a part of the event. It is great to see and it will get better. But, just a warning, America needs to be strong when I take my belts back home to Germany. I said it once before and I will say it again and again: The higher the quality, the more attractive is the fight for the fans. The state of woman's boxing needs tough woman like Claressa and me who are not afraid of a challenge.
How does it feel to be fighting on Showtime and in front of the world?
It is the biggest woman's boxing fight in 2017. Winning is the only thing I'm concerned with.
What can the fans in Detroit and on television expect to see from you?
Fans will see a fit fighter, they can expect a tough puncher and, finally, a dominating reigning champion.
About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 69 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Errol Spence Jr., Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Errol Spence Jr. and more.
(July 17th) Budding women's boxing superstar, community activist, role model and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields has been bestowed with another honor, as she has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award for "Biggest Powerhouse."
In winning the prestigious award, which honors the heaviest hitters, strongest sluggers and unstoppable players in sports each year, Shields beat out a field of such well-known stars as Demarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
"It is a tremendous honor and great thrill to win the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award because it comes from the kids," said Claressa Shields. "I work hard every day to show all children that nothing in life is impossible if you believe in yourself. If this kid from Flint can win Olympic gold medals, boxing world championships, and succeed in life, then you can do it too!"
Shields' promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says she deserves all the incredible accolades and honors she's received.
"Claressa is a true champion of the people with her incredible story of overcoming adversity through her own self-belief and determination. Her accomplishments, inside and outside the ring, make Claressa a real-life American hero and an inspiration to every young person."
22-year-old Shields (3-0, 1 KO), from Flint, Michigan, is currently in training for her first world-title shot on August 4 against German star and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). The 10-round super-middleweight match-up, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10 pm ET/PT), and held at MGM Grand Detroit.
The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards are the only kid-oriented award show focusing on the world's best athletes and each year's greatest sports moments. Held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, this year's broadcast was once again hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The winners were chosen predominantly by children's online voting.
(June 28) Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa "T-Rex" Shields will challenge for her first world title against WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Aug. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from MGM Grand Detroit.
A native of Flint, Mich., Shields (3-0, 1 KO) is the most accomplished amateur boxer in U.S. history and the only American to capture back-to-back boxing gold medals at the Olympic Games. The 22-year-old will challenge for a world title in only her fourth professional fight against fellow undefeated Adler (16-0, 9 KOs), a German star who will make the third defense of her WBC 168-pound title. The bout will also be for the vacant IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Shields is headlining for the second time on national television, building on her history-making debut last March in what was the first women's main event in premium television history. If Shields dethrones Adler on ShoBox, she'll become the 70th world champion in the history of the prospect developmental series.
"It's a huge opportunity to fight in the U.S. on SHOWTIME against Claressa Shields," Adler said. "I am the multiple-time world champion and Claressa is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist - why not fight in the biggest matchup possible? This is a great challenge and we both will show our true potential. I know I'll give everything I have to be successful, as I have always done. I've fought throughout the world, but never in the U.S. It's really a dream to fight in the biggest women's boxing event in 2017.
Shields said, "It is a dream come true for me to be fighting for a major world title in just my fourth professional fight. I thank the champ, Nikki Adler, and her team for accepting the challenge and for coming to the U.S. for this championship. This fight is not only a milestone for me, it also is the biggest fight of the year in women's boxing. I want to thank SHOWTIME for their commitment to me and for their support of women's boxing. I promise to be in the best shape of my life and to give all my fans a performance to remember."
Gordon Hall, ShoBox: The New Generation Executive Producer and SVP of Production, SHOWTIME Sports, said, "ShoBox is about challenging prospects and making step up fights, and that's what Shields vs. Adler is all about. Claressa is returning to ShoBox in a unique opportunity to not only face her toughest opponent to date but to challenge a world champion and look to unify the division in only her fourth fight. The matchup and stakes speak for themselves. We are proud to continue to deliver the best prospects in competitive matchups."
Promoter Dmitriy Salita, said, "I am thrilled to be promoting what I expect will be the biggest women's boxing event of 2017. Claressa Shields is on a quest to make history and is seeking to become a world champion in only her fourth professional bout less than a year after winning her second Olympic Gold Medal. Shields vs. Adler is the kind of matchup we expect from great fighters. These two women, both skilled, both determined, are certain to give fans around the world, and those watching on ShoBox, an action-packed fight that is fought at the highest level. It will be a night to remember where the sports world may see the emergence of a new star."
Shields' co-manager, Mark Taffet, said, "This second main event telecast on SHOWTIME represents yet another historic step forward in the journey of Claressa Shields. Claressa is committed, in return, to pursuing the biggest and best fights available as the profile of women's boxing in the U.S. and around the world continues to grow. This world title fight against Nikki Adler, a monumental challenge for Claressa in only her fourth pro fight, shows how committed Claressa is to fulfilling her dreams and leading the sport to unprecedented levels."
The 30-year-old Adler, a Croatian fighting out of Augsburg, Bayern, Germany, will make her U.S. debut against Shields. A former German amateur champion, Adler will make her third defense of the WBC crown she won in 2013 via unanimous decision against Zane Brige in Russia.
In 2015, Adler defeated Szabados via unanimous decision in her first defense of the WBC belt, and knocked out Elene Sikmashvili in her second defense in 2016. In March of this year, she won the vacant WIBF and GBU World Super Middleweight Championships by unanimous decision over Mery Rancier.
Shields compiled an amateur record of 77-1 record and won her first Olympic Gold when she was only 17 years old in the inaugural women's boxing competition at the London Games in 2012. She won a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and turned professional three months later.
In March 2017 at MGM Grand Detroit, Shields stopped Hungary's Szilvia Szabados in four rounds to win the NABF Super Middleweight Championship, in the first women's main event in premium television history. In her most recent bout on June 16, Shields defeated Sydney LeBlanc via a unanimous eight-round decision to capture the WBC Silver Super Middleweight title.
Active in her community, Shields advocates for several social issues and serves as an inspirational figure in her hometown of Flint, a city beset by problems.
Undercard bouts for the ShoBox telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.