She has two Olympic gold medals in her trophy case, and now Claressa Shields has two world title belts to wear around her waist.
Shields, in just her fourth career professional fight, utterly dominated super middleweight champion Nikki Adler from Germany, scoring a fifth-round technical knockout when referee Michael Griffin stopped it at 1:34 of the scheduled 10-round title fight. Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) headlined the Showtime card Friday night at the MGM Grand in Detroit, just down the road from her hometown of Flint, Mich.
Adler (16-1, 9 KOs) failed to land a punch in the first round, and was outlanded 136-6 at the time of the stoppage. She spent the entire fight covering up to avoid the onslaught from Shields, who used her jab and a series of straight right hands and combinations to keep Adler on the defensive the entire night.
If anything, Shields, 22, exposed the dearth of talent in the higher weight classes among the female fighters. Adler was the undefeated champion and making the fourth defense of her various titles, and had absolutely no answer for Shields, who won gold medals in London and Rio De Janeiro.
Another German, Christina Hammer (21-0, 9 KO), the longtime unified female middleweight champion, attended the fight and came into the ring as Shields was being interviewed.
Shields said she told Hammer that she needs to keep her hands up “because I’m fast and stronger than I look, and whenever we fight, next year or the year after, she’ll be prepared.
“It was a good fight, she beat Nikki easy,” Hammer said. “But it’s not good for me. I beat you both.”
Shields replied: “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.”