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Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer battled for 10 rounds, but Shields came out on top after a dominant defensive showcase.
Claressa Shields now owns the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring women’s middleweight titles after beating Christina Hammer in the headlining bout of a Showtime boxing card on Saturday.
Shields won a unanimous decision, 98-92, on all three judges scorecards. She moves to 9-0 as a professional, and was screaming “What’s my name?” after the bout, and proclaimed herself to be the best women’s boxer ever.
Hammer was in the fight, and definitively took the first and possibly the sixth rounds. But the other eight rounds were all Shields, who simply put up a defensive clinic. Hammer wasn’t able to get anything done from range, and on the inside, Shields was dominant. Hammer was warned multiple times for clinching in those situations, and she was slowly overwhelmed by how great Shields’ defense was.
“I don’t even know if I’m dreaming right now,” Shields said after the bout. “I don’t even know if I’m dreaming. I don’t know what this is.”
“Women’s boxing, we on fire. I can’t wait to see what’s next for us,” Shields added. She also called out two other fighters, Cecelia Braekhus and Savannah Marshall, the only woman to beat Shields as an amateur.
This was a bout with a lot of hype and bad blood around it. It was talked about as the biggest women’s boxing match in history, and the two-time gold medalist, Shields, said as much herself. At the same time, she also said that it wasn’t the biggest fight of her career, calling her gold medal Olympic matches a bigger deal. Both fighters accused the other of being scared — the usual deal.
There was an upset on the preliminary card, when Brenda Karen Carabajal bested Elena Gradinar over the course of a 10-round decision. Gradinar was expected to win that one. Samuel Peter looked great against Mario Heredia at times, but ultimately lost a split decision despite many believing he won.
The first bout on the main card ended in a no decision, a disappointment for everyone involved. Otto Wallin and Nick Kisner had only been boxing for a minute or so before an accidental headbutt opened up a cut over the right eye of Kisner and on the side of the head of Wallin.
Kisner was attended to by the doctor, and finished the round. He did not come out for the second round, claiming he could not see out of his right eye, resulting in the no decision. Effectively, it’s as though the bout never happened.
In the second main card matchup, Jermaine Franklin took a step up in competition against Rydell Booker, the journeyman. It wasn’t a pretty fight, with the two heavyweights clearly getting tired about halfway through the ten-round bout. But Franklin, the aggressor, clearly won the last few rounds and took a unanimous decision, 99-91, 98-92, 98-92.
Below, you can find the play-by-play from the main card, and below that, full results for Saturday’s card.
Round 1: Hammer is grinning at Shields as they touch gloves. The bout starts and Hammer quickly takes the center of the ring. Shields is leaving her hands down because she wants the big counter. Overhand right counter just glances Hammer. Shields blocks a pair of left hands from Hammer. Both land left hands over the top. Shields jabs the body, and connects with a glancing blow on a left hook. It’s probably Hammer’s round, but it wasn’t dominant by any means.
Round 2: Jab combo from Hammer, and Shields answers with a big winging hook that might have been just a bit short. Shields connects on a hard hook to the side of the head while they’re tied up, and the referee separates them. Hammer shakes her head like Shields landed a dirty blow. Hammer lands a leftjab and a short right hook over the top against the ropes. Shields connects with a hard right over the top, and Hammer is grinning through it. Four quick left jabs from Shields, but Hammer is backing up. A close round, but Shields was pretty active.
Round 3: Jab combo by Hammer to start the round. Shields slips another combo and lands a hook to the body. Overhand from Hammer. This one is a bit slower than the second round, with Shields mostly trying to close the gap and Hammer not giving her an inch. Still, nothing big really lands in the round.
Round 4: Hammer is complaining about shots to the side of the head, but she’s turning her head into them. They both excahnge jab combos, and tie up again. Shields comes in with a hook, and Hammer ties up again. Body shot form Hammer lands, as does an overhand right from Shields. Hammer peppers Shields with 4-5 quick punches, and Hammer ties up again. Hammer is warned by the referee for tying up whenever Shields gets in the pocket. Hammer backs up for the remainder of the round. I’ve got Shields up, 3-1.
Round 5: Hammer simply can’t land a clean blow on Shields, her defense is too good. Shields is slipping everything from the outside, and landing the better shots on the inside. Stiff jab from Shields sneaks through, and she’s walking Hammer down. She connects with a hard left hook, but Hammer catches Shields with her own as they separate. Hammer flings two hooks in a flurry, and eats a hard left to the body from Shields. Right hand over the top from Shields as she comes in, and is tied up. Triple jab from Shields’ lead hand, and she just misses with the followup right hook. Another Shields round!
Round 6: Hammer comes out aggressive, and Shields is on her back foot. Hammer lands some nice straight punches in a flurry, and Shields misses with her counters. Hammer lands two nice hooks and then holds Shields’ head down, which is a bad idea, because Shields lands two stiff hooks to the body before they’re separated. Shields misses several more punches as Hammer makes her adjustments. I think that’s a Hammer round, 4-2 Shields.
Round 7: Big overhand right from Shields as the round starts, but Hammer gets away from most of it. Both rights land flush on the chin with winging hooks, but both appear unfazed. Hammer comes in and lands a nice uppercut, followed by a pair of light hooks as she catches Shields ducking again. They tie up on the ropes and are separated. Right hand over the top for Shields, and Hammer ties it up again. Big right hand from Shields, then another. Hammer is warned again by the referee for holding. Shields throws another big flurry, and has Hammer backing up. 5-2 Shields.
Round 8: Hammer really needs to get the jab working, and she tries it to start the round. She gets Shields to the ropes and then fires off a killing blow, but Shields ducks it and circles away. Shields then swarms Hammer, flinging hooks on the inside. Hammer loses her mouthpiece, and the referee doesn’t stop the fight immediately, because Shields is still swarming. It’s eventually stopped — without a real lull in the action, which Shields should be displeased with, but Hammer acts like she was wronged. Shields though, is angry. She comes forward and throws two very big right hands. She walks Hammer down to the corner and fires two big right hands, and Hammer ties up. Huge round for Shields. I’ve got it 6-2 Shields.
Round 9: Hammer comes in with a quick hook and Shields lands the counter left right on the jaw. A pair of hooks to the body from Shields after Hammer ties up again. Hammer is on her back foot right now. Three-punch combination from Shields, who switches up her stance and comes forward with some lefts. Hammer really can’t land anything from range, and she’s getting beaten up on the inside. Hard counter left from Shields. Strong left hook from Hammer, but a one-two to the body from Shields hurts her as the round comes to a close. 7-2 Shields.
Round 10: Both fighters connect with right hooks, and Shields eats a left jab. Shields wants the knockout but she also doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of one, and she’s not quite as aggressive here in the 10th round. Shields lands a nice hook up top, and they tie up. Left jab from Hammer connects, but she eats another counter left. Left jab from Shields, then a triple. They’re both winging them as the round ends. Hammer was a game opponent, but that has to be a Shields fight. I’ve got her winning, 8-2.
Round 1: Franklin working the one-two combos early. They both get some jabs in, and Franklin almost takes Booker’s head off with a change-up hook. Franklin with a nice jab to the body, then they exchange stiff left jabs. Counter left hook from Franklin lands, followed by a double jab. Booker throws three straight left jabs, which are glancing blows. Booker eats a hard right hook while delivering a shot to the body. Franklin connects with a pair of body hooks, and gets Booker into the corner, where he tries to swarm, but they tie up and are separated. Active round for both fighters, but it was definitely Franklin’s round.
Round 2: Booker is a lot more active to start this round, moving a lot more and trying to back Franklin into the ropes. Booker and Franklin both connect with massive hooks right on the cheek. Franklin might have been stunned, but he loses his mouthpiece. Left uppercut from Booker lands, and Franklin starts swinging wildly. He drops his right hand, and eats another left hook. Booker slips the big punches from Franklin. Franklin recovers and gets Booker against the ropes, where he lands a strong hook to the body. Two hard straights land for Booker, and I’ve got it at a round apiece.
Round 3: Booker lands a strong right hand, and Franklin is trying to get the jab to work. Booker is doing a good job of avoiding the big shots, and he lands a double jab of his own. Franklin seems to be fading, he’s throwing everything with power. Franklin isn’t getting anything done, and it’s probably another Booker round.
Round 4: Franklin continues to be the aggressor, and Booker is also slowing down a bit, it seems. Booker lands a stiff right hand about halfway through the round, but he ate a very strong jab right before that. Booker catches him again, and Franklin loses his mouthpiece for the second time. When they get started, Franklin lands two big hooks while they’re essentially clinched up. He has two more shots bounce off Booker’s gloves, but the right hook over the top slips through and nails the side of his head. Franklin tees off against the ropes to end the round. A much better round for him.
Round 5: Hard left to the body from Booker. Both guys are taking some deep breaths. Big right hand over the top from Franklin, but Booker just gets out of the way. Left jab from Franklin lands flush on the chin, through Booker’s guard. Booker gets Franklin up against the ropes, and he lands several nice big shots. Franklin keeps throwing combinations, but he’s eating some big shots on the inside. Booker is slipping the bigger shots — he’s big, but he’s quick. Right to the body from Franklin. Short uppercut inside from Booker, for the second time in the round.
Round 6: This one is really slow, nothing happens for the first minute or so. Booker connects on a nice counter uppercut, followed by a right hook after eating two big body shots. Booker gets against the ropes, but they tie up and are separated. They tie up again and the round comes to an end. Very little happened in that round. I don’t think anybody should win it!
Round 7: Booker looks like he’s running out of gas. Franklin lands two short jabs, eats a short left uppercut, but keeps pressing. Booker gets Franklin against the ropes, and there’s some good dirty boxing. Franklin connects with two strong right hooks, and after they separate, a stiff jab right on the chin. He sells out on a haymaker, but eats a counter right hook from Booker. They’re landing, it just doesn’t seem like he’s throwing enough. And just as soon as I type that, Booker gets Franklin against the ropes and lands some very hard shots. Franklin is winging hooks himself, but Booker is peppering him. Franklin spins him around and delivers some big shots of their own. Both land hooks, flush, as the round ends.
Round 8: Franklin coming out fast in this round, and it seems he has more in the tank. Hard left hook lands, then a left uppercut between short punches from Booker. Both guys are tired. Nothing really happens for the last minute of this round. Franklin throws two big hooks in a flurry as the round ends, but nothing lands.
Round 9: Franklin gets pushed to the ropes quickly, and Booker peppers him with hooks. Franklin comes back out, and there’s a lot of holding in this round. Franklin is still trying to land the big shot, but Booker isn’t in any danger, at least not from what’s being thrown at this point in the fight. Franklin does slip in a very nice uppercut that stuns Booker, and a pair of jabs. Then a pair of hooks to the body. Left jab from Booker. Booker gets Franklin against the ropes again and peppers him with some nice body shots, but it was Franklin’s round. This is a hard one to score, either way.
Round 10: Franklin coming forward, he sells out on a big right hand, like he’s been doing all fight, but Booker slips it. Left hook to the body from Franklin. Booker’s corner is yelling at him to get something going. Franklin puts together a strong combo of short hooks to the head. They exchange short jabs. Haymaker from Franklin just misses. More misses from Franklin, but Booker isn’t exactly fighting back. And this one is over. Franklin should win this, but it wasn’t a pretty fight.
Round 1: Wallin immediately closes on Kisner and covers himself up. He throws the right jab, and Kisner circles. Hard right from Kisner is blockd. Wallin gets him into the corner, but eats a hard right hand for his troubles. He delivers one of his own, followed by a strong body shot. Left hook from Wallin lands as Kisner has a cut over his right eye. Right straight from Wallin. Kisner seems to be indicating that it was a headbutt, but no replay yet. They tie up. Kisner goes down from another shot and Kisner says he can’t see out of the eye with a cut. Looks like Wallin has a cut on the side of the head, so it might have been a headbutt. They get fighting again. Kisner throws a wide right hook, but it doesn’t land. He eats a hard jab while swinging another hook, then a big right to the body. He connects with a left to the body of his own. Round ends — it was definitely Wallin’s round but he’s doing a poor job of using his range.
And now it seems like this fight is going to be stopped. Kisner can’t see out of the eye with a cut, and that makes it harder for him to see shots coming in from Wallin’s primary side. They announce it’s a no decision for both fighters.
Claressa Shields def. Christina Hammer via unanimous decision (98-92 x3)
Jermaine Franklin def. Rydell Booker via unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92)
Otto Wallin vs. Nick Kisner ends in no decision (medical)
Brenda Karen Carabajal def. Elena Gradinar via decision
Ja’Rico O’Quinn def. Vicente Alfaro Martinez via decision
Mario Heredia def. Samuel Peter via split decision
Marcus Bates def. Jesse Angel Hernandez via TKO
Isiah Seldon def. Bryan Goldsby via decision
9 p.m.: We are checking in for our live blog of tonight’s Showtime boxing card, featuring a title bout between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer. We’ll have a live blog of the main card action just as soon as it gets underway. The current round and bout will be at the top of this article, while previous bouts and results will be below them. Finally, the viewing information this article originally shipped with is below. Keep refreshing that page!
On Saturday, one of the bigger women’s boxing matches in a very long time will take place, as Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer finally meet in the headlining bout of a Showtime boxing card. Shields will be defending her WBA, WBC and IBF titles, while Hammer is putting up her WBO strap. The vacant The Ring middleweight title will also be up for grabs.
The card will be broadcast on Showtime, beginning at 9 p.m. ET and features two other bouts on the main card. Live streaming can be found via Showtime Anytime.
Showtime is billing it as the biggest women’s boxing fight there’s been, and that might be true. All we know for sure is that these are two of the top women’s boxers in the world, and they’re going to slug it out for our enjoyment. Shields carries the hope of a lot of women boxers in the United States, and there is some serious beef between her and Hammer.
The two were originally scheduled to fight in 2018, but an injury to Hammer delayed the bout. Meanwhile, both fighters have spent plenty of time trash talking and building up to Saturday’s action.
Shields, 24, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States, and is 8-0 as a professional. Six of her wins came via decision, with two knockouts. She’s defended her WBA and IBF belts twice, and her WBC belt once.
Hammer, 28, is 24-0-1 as a professional, with 11 wins by knockout and 13 wins by decision. She’s defended her WBO belt 12 times and has much more professional experience than Shields.
Date: Saturday, April 13
Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: Showtime Anytime
Claressa Shields vs. Christina Hammer (for Shields’ WBA, WBC, and IBF titles, Hammer’s WBO title and the vacant The Ring middleweight title)
Jermaine Franklin vs. Rydell Booker
Otto Wallin vs. Nick Kisner
Elena Gradinar vs. Brenda Karen Carabajal (for vacant IBF women’s featherweight title)
Ja’Rico O’Quinn vs. Vicente Alfaro Martinez
Samuel Peter vs. Mario Heredia
Jesse Angel Hernandez vs. Marcus Bates
Isiah Seldon vs. Bryan Goldsby
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The 1,000th championship race is Formula One history is Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix. Here’s all you need to know.
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes has pole position for the 2019 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. It’s set to be the 1,000th championship race ever contested in the sport, and Bottas will have teammate Lewis Hamilton next to him on the front row.
Bottas has out-qualified Hamilton multiple times this season and currently holds the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 44 points. That’s one point up on Hamilton, with 43 points. Max Verstappen of Red Bull is next, then the two Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
“I was just struggling with the car throughout the weekend, all day yesterday, today even into Q2,” Hamilton said after finishing behind his teammate. “I made a couple of changes with some settings on the wheel and some changes to the line and managed to bridge the gap.
“Honestly I’m quite proud of the job I have done considering how far I was early in the session. Valtteri’s been quick all weekend, he deserved the pole.”
Despite Ferrari’s advantage in straight-line speed, they couldn’t get pole or split the Mercedes, which is always their minimum goal at the very least. Vettel will start third, next to Leclerc in fourth. The Red Bulls are behind them, with Verstappen and Pierre Gasly locking out the third row. Then it’s the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo an Nico Hulkenberg.
Finally, the American-owned Haas team managed to put both cars into the third qualifying session, with Kevin Magnussen holding ninth and Romain Grosjean rounding out the top 10 of the grid.
Leclerc is still possibly the most intriguing driver on the grid. He’s young and hungry, and joined a Ferrari team with a multiple-times world champion as the lead driver in Vettel. But Leclerc has outpaced him at times.
“Overall I’m happy on my side because after I was quite lost with set-up and my driving and everything and I managed to get back where I wanted in qualifying,” Leclerc said after a rough weekend. “It has been a messy weekend for me on the driving side so I’m pretty happy to be here. Also I’m pretty disappointed because I did a mistake in my fast lap so there was potential in there. But overall I think I should be satisfied because it could have been a lot worse after.”
Below is all you need to watch the action on Sunday, including the full starting grid.
Date: Sunday, April 14
Location: Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai
Time: 2 a.m. ET
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First school in 14 years to win back-to-back men’s puck titles
Minnesota-Duluth won their second consecutive NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament, beating UMass 3-0 in the Frozen Four championship game on Saturday in Buffalo.
Minnesota-Duluth, playing in their third straight championship game, is the first school to win back-to-back men’s hockey titles since Denver in 2004-2005.
Senior Parker Mackay opened the scoring with a first-period tally, his fourth straight game with a goal in the NCAA tournament. Mackay assisted on the Bulldogs’ second goal of the night, by Mikey Anderson in the second period. Anderson had two assists on the night.
The title game was a physical one, evident more than ever on his second period hit:
Nice, clean open ice hit by the blue line to break up an offensive opportunity.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) April 14, 2019
This is the third men’s ice hockey championship for Minnesota-Duluth, who also won in 2011 and 2018.
Minnesota-Duluth is looking for a second straight NCAA men’s ice hockey championship, and will battle Massachusetts for the title on Saturday night to culminate the Frozen Four at KeyBank Center in Buffalo (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Minnesota-Duluth has been stingy throughout the tournament, allowing a single goal in each game while scoring nine goals of their own. The Bulldogs beat Providence 4-1 in Thursday’s national semifinal. Minnesota-Duluth, who beat Notre Dame in last year’s final, is in the championship game for a third consecutive season.
UMass dominated the first two rounds, shutting out both Harvard and Notre Dame. The Minnutemen withstood a furious comeback by Denver in Thursday’s semifinal matchup, but prevailed in overtime.
This is just the second NCAA tournament appearance for UMass, and their first Frozen Four.
Parker Mackay leads Minnesota-Duluth with three goals during the tournament, and teammate Justin Richards scored twice in Thursday’s semifinal victory over Providence. John Leonard leads UMass in scoring during the tournament, scoring once in each game. Marc Del Gaizo scored the game-winner in overtime on Thursday.
Entering the tournament, Minnesota-Duluth was the second overall seed and top seed of the Midwest Regional in Allentown. UMass was the top seed in the Northeast Region in Manchester and was the fourth overall seed.