DETROIT >> Claressa Shields offered reporters a catchy play on words to promote her next fight.
The two-time Olympic champion will face unbeaten Christina Hammer of Germany in a middleweight unification bout Nov. 17 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The fight is a blockbuster between two of boxing’s stars, and the two names lend themselves to some clever lines.
“Claressa Shields versus Christina Hammer,” Shields said. “Make sure you guys use the shield, make sure you guys use the hammer. Make sure you guys use the graphics. You could make up all kind of stuff with this, OK?”
This fight may not need many promotional gimmicks. It’s been anticipated for a while. Shields (6-0) holds the IBF and WBA titles at 160 pounds, and Hammer (23-0) has the WBC and WBO belts.
Hammer has dominated the women’s middleweight division throughout this decade, but Shields has been impressive since turning pro. Shields beat Hanna Gabriels in Detroit in June.
Hammer also fought on that card and made her way into the ring after Shields’ fight, leading to a bit of a commotion . Shields said in a conference call today she has no hard feelings about that incident, but there was still the usual trash talk between the fighters.
“I’m a long-time champion. I have a lot of experience,” Hammer said. “I want to fight her and to show that I’m the real champion.”
“She can knock it off. She can just knock it all the way off,” Shields responded. “Her experience — it shows that I have great experience to only have six fights and be on her supposed level already. I’m above her level.”
It didn’t have anything to do with the fight against Hammer, but another interesting moment in the conference call came when Shields was asked who her role models are in sports. She said tennis star Serena Williams used to be one, but not as much anymore.
“I was able to meet Serena in the ‘16 Olympics and she was just not nice,” Shields said, lobbing some trash talk in an unexpected direction.