By Keith Idec
Christina Hammer did her part Friday night to ensure her middleweight title unification fight against Claressa Shields.
Germany’s Hammer easily out-boxed Tori Nelson to retain her WBC and WBO 160-pound championships at Masonic Temple in Detroit. All three judges scored the fight for Hammer by wide margins (100-90, 99-91, 99-91).
If Shields wins in the main event, another middleweight championship match against Hanna Gabriels, Hammer and the two-time Olympic gold medalist are expected to meet next.
Hammer, 27, remains undefeated (23-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC). The Kazakhstan-born boxer made her 11th defense of the WBO middleweight crown she won in May 2011 and the third defense of the WBC title she captured in November 2016.
The 41-year-old Nelson (17-2-3, 2 KOs), of Ashburn, Virginia, has lost back-to-back bouts to Shields and Hammer.
Shields soundly beat Nelson on January 12 in Verona, New York. Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Flint, Michigan, also won every round on all three scorecards against Nelson (100-90, 100-90, 100-90).
Nelson had about the same amount of success versus Hammer – next to none. The taller, technically superior Hammer had her way with Nelson by being busier and better throughout their one-sided, uneventful fight.
The 5-feet-11 Hammer established her jab early in the first round and kept it in Nelson’s face for much of the 10 rounds. Nelson, who’s 4½ inches shorter, had difficulty getting inside because of Hammer’s height and reach advantages.
When Nelson did get close enough to land, she usually threw wild right hands that didn’t connect.
Hammer’s overhand right also was effective. She couldn’t knock Nelson to the canvas, though she seemed to stun Nelson with a right hand about 15 seconds into the third round.
Later in their fight, Hammer moved Nelson backward when she landed a right uppercut with just over 20 seconds to go in the seventh round.
Hammer snapped back Nelson’s head with another right uppercut when there were 55 seconds left in the ninth round. Hammer drilled Nelson with an overhand right later in the ninth.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.