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Claressa Shields remains undefeated in clinic v. Hannah Rankin

Even a replacement fight couldn’t stop Claressa Shields from continuing her quest to be the best boxer (male or female) in the world. Thanks to DAZN, the world was able to watch “T-Rex” dominate Hannah Rankin through ten rounds. All three judges scored the contest 100-90, allowing Shields to retain her WBA and IBF Middleweight Titles, while also winning the vacant WBC Middleweight Title.

In regards to her performance, Shields was seeing this as a step in the right direction.

 “I had all my energy and exploded when I needed to,” Shields stated, “We did work on that in camp, we worked on placing my shots. I had some good body shots and head shots. We have been working on that for 11 weeks in camp. I’m happy with my performance. I need to watch my performance and give myself a grade. I give myself a B+ for now.”

Set to face Christina Hammer in Atlantic City, Claressa had to fight in a new destination (Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas) and opponent when Hammer backed out due to medical reasons. Rankin was available after losing to Alicia Napoleon a few months ago inside the Nassau Coliseum. Heading into the fight, both were determined to put on a show for women everywhere. Shields’ drive and determination was just stronger.

Throughout the bout, Claressa (7-0) landed body shot after body shot, with some jabs to the face every now and then. A right hook in the second stunned Rankin, who the announcers gave very little chance at winning. It was during the fourth round in which Claressa’s shots made were 38 compared to Rankin’s (5-3) 17. A lack of reach didn’t stop Shields from cutting the ring off and taking advantage of every situation she was put in.

In the sixth round, Shields was playing around with Rankin, revving up her arm to the delight of “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Rankin would attempt several times at a left hook, but never quite got there. It was in the later rounds in which Hannah started trash-talking in the ring, something Shields was used to doing. Mind games couldn’t help, especially with Shields’ vicious jabs. While they weren’t knockout punches, Shields’ right was busy and efficient.

Hannah was busy throughout, however. She landed hook shots and continued to apply pressure to Shields, but to no avail. According to  DAZN’s punch stat system, Shields landed 136-of-457 punches while Rankin only landed 75-of-385.

Once again, Shields has proven why she is the best young fighter in the world today. As the competition heats up, Shields will be ready and willing to try new approaches to her game. Adapting at a young age, and especially with that much polish, can make Shields a deadlier fighter than before.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.

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