This fights importance for the sport on the women’s side is at its zenith, not just because these are two of the top-ranking fighters in the world risking it all to become UNDISPUTED CHAMPION of the Middleweight division, but also in contributing to help garner the correct attention that women’s boxing should have at this point in time, especially given that there is a strong upsurge of talent in a few key divisions.
While these fighters are very impressive, only few have the right prototypical marketable qualities to really catapult the women’s side of the sport to the forefront, and out of the shadows of some peoples minds who look at them as secondary in the sport. I say great talent is great talent, and women boxers should get more attention than they receive just off of that merit alone, but creative measures need to be looked into so that those fighters interesting enough, can make a mark and generate public excitement for women’s boxing, very much like how Ronda Rousey and other prominent fighters did for womens Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which is currently on fire at this particular moment.
In terms of the marketable approach, WBA/WBO/IBF Middleweight Champion 🇺🇸Claressa ‘T-Rex’ Shields (8-0-0, 2KO) does have some interesting qualities to bring to the table to make people listen and tune in; she’s skilled, accomplished, always open to speak to the public, talks non-stop smack to her opponents, and of course while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, she has an attractive quality to her (a common bond with her opponent Hammer), which contributes to the overall picture in a marketing sense.
You can clearly see by the manner in which Claressa conducts herself, that she was largely influenced by a couple of legendary fighters…Muhammad Ali being one of them, adopting some of his more general talking points and brash personality, all while style-wise operating closer to that of a Joe Frazier as another influence. The one thing that I find off-putting about Shields though is that she tries way too hard in being boastful and in the way she talks to her opponents, which comes off as very cringe-worthy and annoying, showcased once again during the build up press conferences to this fight.
As for WBC Champion 🇩🇪Christina Hammer (24-0-0, 11KO), she fits into the “very talented, dull personality” bracket, which also was to blame for the lackluster meetings.
Now to the fight itself, one has to note that Hammer is an exceptional boxer in space at both outside and mid-distance range, with fundamental defense and a quality in understanding how to create space, measure her range and capitalize on distances while using the full benefit of her height and reach.
As for Shields, she is very impressive coming forward, fights very intelligently (largely that having to do with her stacked amateur pedigree), and she can fight well in the pocket. One weakness in Shields though is that she has the propensity to throw her punches wide at times, and typically doesn’t have the right defensive positioning whenever she gets into that mode, which is why she is capable of being countered with routine solid shots upstairs, such as Hanna Gabriel’s was able to do a few times in their fight, and put Shields down with an uppercut.
Shields is strong, but Hammer is also strong, perhaps even stronger, despite what her style suggests, so it would be interesting to see how they function when they clinch and fight on the inside. I suspect that Hammer will be able to keep Shields at bay and dictate the real estate in the effectively enough to pull out a contested unanimous decision victory in her favor. I do suspect at some point a fight may break out in the second half of the fight, which would be a win-win for both the fighters, and for women boxers in totality.
🥁|| TRÉ BERRY III PREDICTION – CHRISTINA HAMMER WINS BY CONTESTED UNANIMOUS DECISION.