WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler and hometown favorite, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields officially made weight on Thursday, one day before they headline a doubleheader tomorrow/Friday, Aug. 4 on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Detroit. Photos Stephanie Trapp.
Shields (3-0, 1 KO) tipped the scales at 165 ¼ pounds with the champion Adler (16-0, 9 KOs) of Germany coming in at 166 pounds even. In the ShoBox co-feature, world-ranked super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov (15-0, 9 KOs) of Russia will face Jesse Hernandez (8-1, 6 KOs) of Fort Worth, Texas, in an eight-round bout. Both fighters weighed in at 123 ¼ pounds.
Shields’ good friend and newly crowned UFC Featherweight World Champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino was on hand Thursday and will walk Shields into the ring on Friday. Also in attendance at the weigh-in was a potential future Shields’ opponent, five-time world champion Christina Hammer, who is undefeated at 21-0 and currently holds the WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Justino and Hammer met with the media in a forum moderated by Shields’ co-manager Mark Taffet before the weigh-in.
“I never thought it would happen, that the sports of MMA and boxing would come together like it has with the upcoming Mayweather-McGregor fight,” said Justino, the former Strikeforce and Invicta FC champion. “I think it’s great and incredible and could possibly open the door for other fights between the sports.”
“I’m looking forward to watching Claressa win the fight tomorrow night,” said Hammer. “I want to see her keep winning so we can fight one day. I only want to fight the best and she seems to be one of the best.”
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.
Programming Note: Episode 2 of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor will air Friday night before the ShoBox telecast at 10 p.m. ET/PT. To watch an exclusive clip of the episode, click here: http://s.sho.com/2u8OxWK.
Nikki Adler: 166 Pounds
Claressa Shields: 165¼ Pounds
Vladimir Tikhonov: 123¼ Pounds
Jesse Angel Hernandez: 123¼ Pounds
“This fight is very big in Germany, and I know there will be a lot of eye on me. It will be 4:30 in the morning, but there will be live streaming and viewing parties.
“I’m going to be defensive in the early going and know that Claressa is going to come forward. I want to get the fight into the later rounds. It’s 10 rounds of boxing and there will be lots of action.
“I know I will be tough to knock out and have no plans of going down. Claressa has gotten all the hype so far and she wants to put on a show for her fans. I’m going to do everything I can to send those fans home upset after I beat her and carry those belts out of the ring.
“This is my second fight with my trainer Rene [Friese]. I wanted to train with the best and I need a trainer who had worked with the top fighters.
“My trainer has really been stressing strategies. We have a lot of them. The game plan is simple: Win the fight.
“Fighting for the first time in the United States is going to be amazing. I’ve only fought in Russia and Germany, so to be here in a main event on SHOWTIME is really special.”
“I feel like I’m a lot healthier and hydrated than I did fighting at 160. I’m not sluggish. I used a chef who prepared my meals for the first time and I feel great.
“I’ve known about Nikki Adler and Christina Hammer for a long time. I like both of the girls, but when it comes to getting in the ring it’s all about business.
“Technically I see that [Nikki] is very poised and calm. She’s patient, but not too patient.
“Even though she may be the bigger fighter, I know I’m the aggressor. I think I can get her out in six rounds.
“Of course everyone wants to get the big knockout, but I haven’t found the right punch that gets the girls knocked out. I’m young so I know it will come.
“I’m glad Cyborg is here to support me. She hits hard and we’ve sparred. She’s strong and she is fast. She’s picked up a lot from me, and I’ve learned from her. She’s the most feared MMA fighter, and I’m most feared in boxing. So it’s great for both women’s sports.”