Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields and undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson made weight on Thursday for their 10-round WBC and IBF Super Middleweight World Championship showdown tomorrow/Friday, January 12 in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
The 22-year-old two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the former world champion Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs).
Undefeated Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will meet fellow unbeaten and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, in the telecast opener. The 26-year-old Ergashev, a former six-year member of the Uzbek national team, and the current WBA No. 9 ranked Fredrickson will contest an eight-round super lightweight bout.
In the co-feature of the ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs), who is coming off consecutive victories over undefeated opponents, will take on former National Golden Gloves Gold Medalist Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout between two all-action fighters.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.
Claressa Shields vs. Tori Nelson – 10-round WBC and IBF Super Middleweight World Title Bout
Shields: 167 pounds
Nelson: 164 ¾ pounds
Jesse Hernandez vs. Ernesto Garza – 10-round Super Bantamweight Bout
Hernandez: 122 ½ pounds
Garza: 122 ½ pounds
Shohjahon Ergashev vs. Sonny Fredrickson – Eight-round Super Lightweight Bout
Ergashev: 140 pounds
Fredrickson: 141 pounds
“Tori brings a lot more aggression, a lot more fight than a lot of my previous opponents. On paper, she has the best resume of any opponent I’ve faced and can put up a better fight.
“Everybody underestimates me because of my size. My frame looks like I’m a 140 but really I’m a 168. Everyone goes into a fight thinking they can win, but once that right hand lands everything changes. I’m going to go after her in the first round and get her out of there like Nikki Adler.
“I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience
“She’s confident and she believes in herself. She thinks I haven’t earned my place yet. She doesn’t think I throw hard punches. Speed is power. She doesn’t get that.
“This has been a hard camp, I really pushed myself. I usually do six weeks, this time I did eight weeks. I hadn’t fought since August so I wanted to give myself an extra two weeks so I knew I was in perfect shape.
“There’s no doubt that I start the year with a win, but I see this as a competitive fight. I’m going to have to earn the win but I believe I can KO her by the sixth, seventh round.”
“I know I’m the underdog, but I’ve dropped nine people. She hasn’t scored one knockdown yet as a pro. When Claressa turned pro, I knew I’d have to face her eventually.
“A win is what I came for. I expect nothing different. I hope it would expose female boxing and not only open doors for me, but other female boxers coming up after me.
“I feel it’s more entertaining to watch a female fight. When women get dropped, they get right back up and go after it again. When men get knocked down, they start hiding because they don’t want to get hit again. So I think we should get paid just as much as the men.
“I’m blessed to be here, but I’m not a winner until I complete what I came here to do. And that’s win. The odds are definitely against me, but I’m going to shock the world.
“I want to take her into the deep waters. We don’t think she can beat us in a 10-round fight.
“They’re not going to give me anything. I have to be a dog and go in there and win this fight. I’ve always been aggressive. Why change anything for her?”
“I’m just trying to get closer to a title fight. Moving up the rankings is the main goal right now, and I’m on the right path. A win here in a 10-round fight would be huge for my career.
“Being an all-around fighter is something I’m working on. But you can’t become a well-rounded fighter until you get the experience and the fights and that’s what I’m working on doing right now. I want to get more rounds in and progress.
“Fighting a southpaw is not a problem for me. I can switch my stance, but it’s not something I think about or plan. It just happens naturally in a fight.
“I’ve always believed in myself, even when I took time off. I believed that I could get back into it and get to a top level. The wins over two undefeated fighters did a lot for my confidence. I knew I could do it, but it showed others I belong and that I can compete at the top level.”
“I like to bring the pressure, and he’s a pressure fighter too. We’ll see who backs up once we start throwing punches.
“I like to face fighters who come forward like him so I think everything will work for me. I plan on applying the pressure, getting him tired in the latter rounds, and taking him out.
“He tends to switch, but I think that’s when he gets off-balance. He won’t bring anything I haven’t seen before.
“I’m fighting at my natural weight class this time. My last fight on ShoBox (against undefeated Jon Fernandez) I was fighting a much higher weight.
“I don’t think his height and reach will give me any issues. I’ve been working with a lot of guys in the gym who have similar size and style. We’re ready for anything.
“A win would be a great step for me and my career. All the doors would open up for us.”
“I love training here because of the fact that it’s a different atmosphere here in the States. It’s a real professional setup, I feel that my skills and my technique have gotten a lot better training here with Sugar Hill.
“I know that he is an experienced fighter. He’s undefeated and he’s coming to fight. It’s a big opportunity for both of us.
“I’m very honored to be on SHOWTIME and happy to be getting this kind of national exposure. A win would cement me as one of the best junior welterweight prospects in the world.
“I’ve gotten a lot better training at the Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit. Last training camp was an introduction to the American style of boxing and this camp really improved my technique and tactics with the intense sparring.
“I’m 11-0 with 11 knockouts. I’m a puncher and I want to knock him out, but I’ve trained for the distance. I’ve trained to knock somebody out in the first round and the eighth round.
“This is a big step-up in opposition, but I’ve had over 200 amateur fights against some of the best amateur boxers in the world. I’ve beaten Olympic medalists and very accomplished amateur fighters.”
“I’ve been waiting for this exposure for a long time. I’ve been trying to get on TV for the last two or three years, so this is a huge deal for me. Hopefully a win bumps me up into the top 5 and gives me a title shot at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
“We spar a lot with Robert (Easter). It’s back-and-forth action. We grew up together and learn a lot from each other. I give him some pointers here and there and he does the same for me.
“I don’t know too much about my opponent. I know he’s a lefty and he has a strong punch. He’s a good match for me. He wants to keep coming forward and land big shots so I’ll be able to outbox him pretty easily.
“I don’t think nerves will be factor. I’ve fought on Andre Ward’s card, I’ve been in big fights before.
“I’m going to knock him out after the third round. I’m going to say, hey, get him out of here.
“After this fight, fans will start learning my name. I think they’ll want to see me have a shot at the 140 pound title.”