Unified super middleweight champion Claressa Shields faces the next ‘toughest bout of her career’ January 12 with a scheduled ShoBox: The New Generation bout versus undefeated veteran Tori Nelson.

Joining former world champion Anthony Dirrell for his homecoming bout – a Premier Boxing Champions organized card – Friday night in Flint, Michigan was IBF/WBC super middleweight champion Claressa Shields (4-0, 2 KOs).

Shields, along with her coaching team, was in the Dort Federal Credit Union Center to support the sport of boxing, the triumphant Dirrell, as well as the other Michigan and Midwest-based boxers participating in the special Toe-To-Toe Tuesdays broadcast live on FS1.

Shields shared a few moments of her time to discuss her history-making 2017, her thoughts on becoming a unified champion in just four pro fights, and to break down her upcoming first title defense against Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs).

Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields landing flush on Sydney LeBlanc at Detroit’s Masonic Temple in June.

The shots fired and clap backs on Twitter between Shields and Nelson have been wildly entertaining, and the sharp words and promises of pain hint at a true challenge for the defending champion. One we didn’t see from 16-win former champion Nikki Adler back in August.

In the interview, Shields immediately made light of Nelson’s two career knockouts in her 17 professional bouts, but was seeming unaware (or unimpressed) of the Virginian’s November 4 second round stoppage of Latashia Burton. A bout that ended with a rib injury sustained by Burton, according to Nelson’s manager Anthony Nixon.

Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields outclassed Sydney LeBlanc, a late sub for Mery Rancier, for eight rugged rounds en route to unanimous decision victory to claim the vacant WBC Silver super middleweight title.

Shields also responded to a comment made by Nelson on a recent appearance on the Standing 8 Live podcast where the Universal Boxing Federation champion asserted that Shields wouldn’t be where she is now if the two-time Olympic gold medalist had to first fight the likes of Alicia Napoleon, Kali Reis, or Nelson herself.

Another topic Shields was asked about is whether Nelson could possibly be a trap fight, were she to overlook Nelson for a lucrative summer bout with WBC/WBO middleweight champ Christina Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs). A fight that had to be made once Hammer boldly entered the ring, following Shields’ title-winning 5-round destruction of Adler, to tell Showtime’s Steve Farhood she’d beat both Adler and Shields.

According to an Instagram account associated with Salita Promotions, Hammer will make her United States debut on the January 12 card at Verona, New York’s Turning Stone Resort & Casino.

Header photo by R.L. Woodson   

Body photos by Jeffery Finney/CatchNShoot Media