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.