DETROIT — It was a spirited and home-style crowd at the MGM Ballroom urging Claressa Shields onward. They were there to see Shields defeat the women’s pro Nikki Adler from Germany. It didn’t take much urging and it didn’t take the full ten rounds. From the opening bell, Shields put strong jabs into the face of the former champion. In later rounds Shields followed with many scoring and heavy body blows.
Shields, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Flint stopped Adler at 1 minute, 34 seconds of the fifth round, the referee ending the fight and calling the TKO. Shields (4-0, 2 KO’s) dominated throughout the bout and Adler (16-1, 9 KO’s) never mounted a threat.
“It feels great to win in Detroit,” said Shields. She won the women’s WBC and IBF super middleweight (168 pounds) championships. “I worked real hard in the gym, I trained, I ate right, I went to sleep on time, I was real focused,” Shields said. “I blocked all negativity, said Shields post-fight.
Adler had no answer for the power jabs that Shields peppered her with. “Claressa was definitely the better fighter,” Adler said. “I was never hurt during the fight, but I had no strength and felt fatigued. I don’t know why. I couldn’t do the things I wanted to.” Adler did seem distracted somewhat with new boxing shorts. She kept tugging at them while being pummeled by the offensive onslaught from Shields. Adler’s corner seemed ill-prepared and gave her no strategic answers to counter with.
In the co-main event, super bantamweight Jesse Angel Hernandez (Fort Worth, Texas) defeated Vladimir Tikhonov (St. Petersburg, Russia) on a TKO at 2:25 of the fifth round. Hernandez (9-1, 7 KO’s) controlled the majority of the fight against Tikhonov (16-1), who was making his United States debut. Hernandez trapped Tikhonov in a corner in the fifth round and Tikhonov looked in trouble. “I know I had him in the third round, he was grunting from my body punches,” said Hernandez.
Another Texan, from San Antonio, Jose Elizondo (3-3) fought a spirited six round draw against previously unbeaten and untied, JaRico O’Quinn (7-0-1, 5 KO’s). Elizondo knocked down
O’Quinn twice in the bantamweight bout.
In a six round unanimous decision Domonique Dolton (18-1-1) bested Antonio Chaves Fernandez (9-33-4). Other bouts on the undercard had Anonio Urista unanimously defeating Serdar Hudayberdiyev and James Smith landing a 1st round KO over Yakubu Kareem.
The next opponent for Shields could be Christina Hammer, also based out of Germany, who is 21-0 and was in attendance Friday.
FEATURED FIGHT NIGHT NOTES:
Noticeably absent was the branding of Claressa Shields as T-Rex. This fight was branded as “Battle of the Best”.
The next opponent for Shields could be WBC middleweight champion Christina Hammer of Kazakhstan, who is based out of Germany. She sports an attractive 21-0 record. Hammer was in attendance at the MGM Ballroom.
Also, at the event was former Kronk champion and perennial Detroit favorite, Tommy Hearns. Gracious as ever, he was doing some pre-fight mingling at the MGM fine dining establishment Wolfgang Puck Steak. He spent some time with stellar University of Detroit basketball player Bill Downs, who is a franchise consultant. Downs said, “Tommy makes a spot bigger, better and brighter when he is present. He put a championship presence on this event.”
Shields’ trainer, Jason Cruchfield, was wearing a shimmering black tunic with “GWOAT,” embroidered across the back, an acronym for– the greatest woman of all time.
The bouts were televised by Showtime.