Claressa Shields to fight for super middleweight title in just fourth pro bout
By Kevin Iole
Claressa Shields won’t make history when, in just her fourth professional fight, she challenges unbeaten WBC super middleweight champion Nikki Adler for the title on Aug. 4 on Showtime at the MGM Grand Detroit, but it is nonetheless a mind-blowing accomplishment.
Shields, 22, is 3-0 with one knockout as a pro. She is best known, to this point in her career for winning the Olympic middleweight gold medal at the 2012 Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In facing Adler for the WBC and vacant IBF belts, she’ll put herself on the short list of boxers who competed for the title the quickest.
Saensak Muangsurin won the WBC super lightweight title in his third pro fight when, a month before his 26th birthday, he knocked out Perico Fernandez in Thailand. Veeraphol Sahaprom was also 26 and in his fourth pro fight when he defeated Daorung Chuwatana on Sept. 17, 1995, for the WBA bantamweight title.
Shields, if she defeats Adler, would tie Sahaprom for the third-fastest to the title.
Three boxers — Jake Skelly in 1892, Pete Rademacher in 1957 and Rafael Lovera in 1975 — made their pro debuts in world title fights. Rademacher was the 1956 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist, and faced heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in his debut. Patterson knocked Rademacher down six times and stopped him in the sixth round of their bout on Aug. 22, 1957 in Seattle.