By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
Photos: Andy Newman
WBC/IBF female super middleweight champion Claressa Shields retained her world titles with a one-sided ten round unanimous nod over Tori Nelson on Friday night at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.
In the first, both ladies eyed each other with some degree of respect, not looking to make a fight-ending mistake. Shields made the first move firing away with combinations, but Nelson was not awed. In fact, at the end of round one, it was Nelson who landed a hard left in a simultaneous exchange. Shields looked to take control in the second, landing lead rights to start two and three punch combos. Nelson signaled “no big deal” with a dismissive shake of her head. In the third, Shields voluntarily backed into a neutral corner, luring Nelson in for counters and in turn avoiding everything Nelson threw with deft bobbing and weaving.
Shields spent a large portion of round four in the same corner, brilliantly fending off whatever Nelson attempted, then coming out on offense, rocking Nelson often. The difference in class was evident as Shields did as she pleased in style. Nelson for her part was game if not effective.
While not inept by any means, she simply couldn’t match Shields for speed, accuracy, power, endurance and pure skill. It looked as if Shields would get her icing on the cake with a knockout in the tenth as she had Nelson reeling. But Nelson wouldn’t play along, staying on her feet to the final bell. Judges Don Trella, Glenn Feldman and John McKaei were all in agreement at 100-90 for Shields who retained her WBC and IBF super middleweight titles. Shields is now 5-0, 2 KOs while Nelson tastes defeat for the first time at 17-1-3, 2 KOs. On the horizon is a matchup at middleweight with rival Christina Hammer who was in attendance ringside.