Culture&Arts

Shields Picks Apart Nelson, Easily Wins Decision to Retain Titles

Shields Picks Apart Nelson, Easily Wins Decision to Retain Titles

After beating Nelson, Shields - who began training November 10 - told Showtime she was going to celebrate by eating the meals she had to skip at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Nelson, at 41 years of age, did not have much to offer in terms of offense, but she did show tremendous heart in extending Shields all 10 rounds and took a substantial amount of punishment along the way. 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 has long talked about becoming a transcendent figure in her sport, as the first American woman to win Olympic boxing gold and the first USA fighter - male or female - to win back-to-back Olympic titles.

"I think she wasn't a walkover, but I did say I was better skilled and that I was stronger", Shields said.

"I was trying to make her miss and make her pay". Nelson for her part was game if not effective.

And while tonight's fight is in upstate NY - at the Turning Point Casino Resort in Verona, N.Y. - three of her first four bouts were in Detroit, including a pair of sold-out shows at MGM Grand.

Claressa Shields vs. Tori Nelson
Claressa Shields ends Tori Nelson's unbeaten record

Nelson never hurt Shields, who landed 225 of 632 punches to 81 of 400 for Nelson. Shields connected with 186 of 425 power punches to 70 of 348 for Nelson and the champion hit Nelson with 63 body shots while taking 21. Shields got full extension on a right hand to Nelson's jaw in that sequence, but Nelson took it well.

Claressa Shields' fifth fight was the longest of her brief professional career.

Shields snapped back Nelson's head with a left hook late in the second round. She expected an aggressive Nelson to attack her, but both boxers fought tactically during the first round. The Flint, Michigan, native wants to challenge WBC/WBO middleweight champ Christina Hammer in the fight after that.

Germany's Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC) was supposed to fight on the undercard Friday night, but watched the action from ringside.

Crutchfield said he thought Nelson was ready to quit but instead the challenger responded with perhaps her best round of the fight before getting staggered by Shields just before the bell.

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