Claressa Shields had zero problems whatsoever, grossly overmatching defending WBC super middleweight titleholder Nikki Adler tonight on ShoBox, picking up that belt and the vacant IBF title in her fourth pro fight.
Shields (4-0, 2 KO) looked every bit a two-time Olympic gold medalist here, dominating from the very first seconds of the fight. Adler (16-1, 9 KO) had zero answers for anything — she was overpowered, drastically out of her depth in overall skill, and paid for it constantly.
Whether you take punch stats seriously or not, try these on for size: Shields landed 136 of 340 punches thrown, a 40% connect rate. Adler landed a mere six punches in four-plus rounds, of 84 thrown, a 7% connect rate.
Shields, 22, really doesn’t seem to have much competition at 168 pounds, but there was someone in attendance who could come up: unified middleweight titleholder Christina Hammer (21-0, 9 KO), who flashed her own belts at ringside after the fight ended, and then joined the post-fight proceedings in the ring.
“It was a good fight, she beat Nikki,” Hammer said. “But I can beat them both.”
“You say that now, you’re in a dress, and I’m in gear. You get in gear, and I’ll kick your ass right now,” Shields replied.
In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (9-1, 7 KO) scored a mild upset over previously unbeaten Vladimir Tikhonov (16-1, 9 KO), winning by fifth round stoppage when the referee waved off the fight. Tikhonov never went down, but was on unsteady legs and increasingly not really in the fight, other than throwing the occasional intentional headbutt. Hernandez may or may not be someone to watch, but it was clear fairly early in this one that he had Tikhonov’s number, and was able to simply overpower him.