By Keith Idec
Claressa Shields dominated an experienced world champion in just her fourth professional fight Friday night.
The 22-year-old Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, stopped WBC female super middleweight champion Nikki Adler in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round, 168-pound title fight in Detroit. Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) also won the vacant IBF super middleweight title by defeating Adler (16-1, 9 KOs) at MGM Grand Detroit.
Shields’ hand speed, power and precision were entirely too much for Germany’s Adler from the time their “ShoBox” main event began. The Flint, Michigan, native hammered Adler throughout their one-sided fight, until referee Michael Griffin had seen enough in the fifth round.
Griffin stopped the fight at 1:34 of the fifth round, with the 30-year-old Adler still standing.
“I had trained for a hard fight,” Shields told Showtime’s Steve Farhood after her championship win. “I was prepared to go all 10 and I was not gonna have a close fight. It was not gonna be a war.
“And just getting the TKO, it makes me really happy because I really don’t get ‘em in the pros. I just started and people was saying I’m gonna knock people out and stuff. And then I knock out the world champ, who’s 16-0, with nine knockouts.”
Shields said she was happier Friday night than when she won Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
“I could definitely say I’m more happier now,” Shields said. “Maybe it’s because I’m on TV, I’m getting paid some money, all my family and my friends are here, and I’m in Detroit, 45 minutes from my hometown. It just feels good to win, also to win when you’re the underdog. So I’m overjoyed and I’m happy.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.