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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 22 October, 2018

Two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields successfully retains titles with unanimous win

Shields handed 41-year-old Tori Nelson the first defeat of her career in New York on Saturday.

TWO-TIME OLYMPIC champion Claressa Shields successfully defended her WBC and IBF super middleweight titles in New York early on Saturday morning.

The 22-year-old defeated Tori Nelson in a unanimous 10-round decision at at Turning Stone Casino.

Almost twice her opponent’s age, 41-year-old Nelson suffered the first defeat of her career as all three judges in New York scored the bout 100-90 for Shields (5-0, 2 KOs).

Nelson took the fight to the champion seeking a late knockout in the final round. However Shields’ youth and and skill became evident as the bout wore on, using a persistent jab while avoiding Nelson’s big hooks.

Nelson claimed a middleweight world title in 2011, but had only fought twice since June 2015. Shields, meanwhile, claimed boxing gold at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in London and Rio.

The fight was watched by WBO and WBC middleweight champion Christina Hammer, with Shields admitting she would be happy take on the Kazakhstani fighter.

“I think she’s pretty scared, to be honest,” Shields said speaking to ESPN afterwards. ”She’s more worried about me than I am her. I can’t wait to fight her and show her that she isn’t [better than me].”

Shields’ victory was televised on Showtime, with the Michigan fighter becoming the first woman to headline a fight card on premium cable, having done so in March and again in August 2017.

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Aaron Gallagher

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