Claressa Shields will receive her first pro world title shot on August 4, when she faces WBC super middleweight champion Nikki Adler on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, with the vacant IBF title also on the line.
Shields (3-0, 1 KO) is coming off of an eight round decision win on June 16 over Sydney LeBlanc in Detroit. The fight against Adler will take place in Detroit, at the MGM Grand, promoted by Dmitry Salita’s Salita Promotions.
Adler (16-0, 9 KO) is no creampuff opponent, which should be obvious enough by the fact that she’s an unbeaten world champion, but it can’t be overstated how big of a step up in competition this is for Shields on paper. That said, the 30-year-old Croatian champ, fighting out of Germany, hasn’t exactly had to face a murderer’s row of opposition in her own pro career, with the women’s super middleweight division being very shallow.
That means that two-time Olympic gold medalist Shields, 22, is already a legitimate top contender. For reference, BoxRec have Adler No. 2 in the world in the division. Shields is No. 4.
“It’s a huge opportunity to fight in the U.S. on Showtime against Claressa Shields,” Adler said. “I am the multiple-time world champion and Claressa is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist - why not fight in the biggest matchup possible? This is a great challenge and we both will show our true potential. I know I’ll give everything I have to be successful, as I have always done. I’ve fought throughout the world, but never in the U.S. It’s really a dream to fight in the biggest women’s boxing event in 2017.”
Shields said, “It is a dream come true for me to be fighting for a major world title in just my fourth professional fight. I thank the champ, Nikki Adler, and her team for accepting the challenge and for coming to the U.S. for this championship. This fight is not only a milestone for me, it also is the biggest fight of the year in women's boxing. I want to thank Showtime for their commitment to me and for their support of women's boxing. I promise to be in the best shape of my life and to give all my fans a performance to remember.”