Photos: Terrell Groggins/Salita Promotions
Unified women’s super middleweight world champion Claressa Shields met with local members of the media and took part in an open-to-the-public workout on Tuesday at Kronk Gym, exactly one month away from defending her 168-pound WBC and IBF titles against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson on Friday, Jan. 12 live on SHOWTIME. A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Here is what the 22-year-old native of Flint, Mich., had to say on Tuesday:
Claressa Shields: “I am calm – focused – but still hungry like a challenger with the added confidence of being a world champion. I took some time off after my last win but I look forward to getting busy again in 2018.
“This training camp I did eight weeks instead of six. A lot of camp has been extremely hard. But I’m so focused and determined on 2018 and starting great and staying busy. I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience
“There is no doubt I will start 2018 with a win. Then I just take it one fight at a time. Right now my focus is Nelson.
“I’m excited to be on SHOWTIME as the first fight of the year, and just to be back inside the ring. I feel I have been the face of women’s boxing for some time now. I don’t let it feel like pressure – I just work really hard in the gym.
“In 2018 I expect great fights against the best contenders. I expect to make history again on SHOWTIME and also looking forward to dropping to 160 to fight against [Christina] Hammer mid-2018. January 12th will be the beginning of great things to come
“Training through the holidays is fine. The difference between the amateurs and now is that I was always in other countries competing. Now I get to be home with my family getting ready and I feel good.
“The matchup to me will play out with the first few rounds of me using my jab. Then I’ll add the combinations as the fight goes on. I see it being competitive though. I’m going to earn the win. I believe I can KO her by the sixth, seventh round.”
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Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.