ATLANTIC CITY — Claressa Shields is now the only women’s middleweight champion.
The Flint, Michigan, native became the undisputed boxing champ Saturday night, gaining a 10-round unanimous decision over Germany’s Christina Hammer before a roaring crowd at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Shields said.
Judge Lynne Carter scored the fight 98-92, while Guido Cavalleri and Robin Taylor both had it 98-91 for Shields. The Press favored Shields 96-94.
With the victory, Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) added the World Boxing Organization belt to her collection, having already won the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles.
“I didn’t fight very good or fast,” Hammer said. “I wanted this fight, but she won. Respect to her. She’s a tough, strong woman, and that’s all I can say. That’s boxing. Anything can happen. I’ll come back, and I’ll be back stronger.”
Shields, 25, joined welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus as the only undisputed champions in professional boxing. She celebrated by parading around the ring with all four belts while her fans cheered.
Hammer (24-1, 11 KOs) suffered the first defeat of her professional career. She had held the WBO title for nine years and was appearing in her 16th championship bout.
“Give credit to Christina because she can fight,” Shields said. “Her jab was off the chain. But I am the greatest woman of all time. Give me that.”
Former standouts Christy Martin, who watched the fight at ringside, and Laila Ali might disagree, but Shields made a strong case with her performance Saturday.
Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, took control of the fight in the later rounds.
Hammer used her height advantage and a crisp jab to keep Shields off-balance at the start, but Shields gradually worked her way inside and started connecting with flurries.
She nearly ended the fight in the eight round, pinning Hammer on the ropes and unloading overhand rights and a left hook that knocked out Hammer’s mouthpiece. She kept up the onslaught for the last 30 seconds, and Hammer staggered to her corner at the end of the round.
According to CompuBox stats, Shields landed 112 of 387 total punches (29 percent) while Hammer connected on only 49 of 366 (13 percent). Shields owned a 94-24 edge in power punches landed.
“I was calculating at first, but after the first round, I started picking her apart,” Shields said. “I knew I could hurt her, and I thought I was going to finish her in round eight. I just told myself to stay cool, stay calm.”
After the bout, Shields announced plans to seek other titles.
Her next goal is to get a fight with Braekhus at junior-middleweight.
“Women’s boxing is on fire,” Shields said. “I cannot wait to see the next super fight. Right now I’m the undisputed champ.”
In an action-packed co-feature, unbeaten heavyweight Jermaine Franklin (18-0, 13 KOs), of Saginaw, Michigan, won a 10-round, unanimous decision over Detroit veteran Rydell Booker (25-2, 12 KOs). Judges James Kinney (99-91), Eugene Grant (98-92) and Alan Rubenstein (98-92) had him winning by a surprisingly large margin.
On the undercard, Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin (25-0, 13 KOs) was forced to settle for a no-contest in his U.S. debut against Baltimore’s Nick Kisner (21-4-1, 6 KOs).
Kisner was cut over the right eye in the first round due to an accidental head butt. Ringside physician Dr. Wei Xu examined Kisner in the corner and ruled he could not continue, prompting referee David Franciosi to halt the scheduled 10-round bout.
In other bouts, Argentina’s Brenda Karen Carabajal (16-4-1, 9 KOs) won the vacant women’s IBF featherweight title with a 10-round, unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Elena Gradinar (9-1, 2 KOs), of Russia.
Former WBC heavyweight champ Samuel Peter (37-7, 30 KOs) of Las Vegas lost an eight-round split decision to Mexican Mario Heredia (16-6-1, 13 KOs). Peter dropped Heredia in the third round but was ineffective over the second half of the bout.
Detroit super-flyweight Ja’Rico O’Quinn (12-0, 8 KOs) stayed unbeaten with an eight-round unanimous decision over Vicente Alfaro Martinez (9-5, 3 KOs), of Northfield, Minnesota. Washington super-bantamweight Marcus Bates (9-1-1, 8 KOs) posted a third-round TKO over Jesse Angel Hernandez (12-3, 7 KOs), of Fort Worth, Texas.
Hammonton middleweight Isiah Seldon (13-2-1, 4 KOs) opened the show with a six-round unanimous decision over Bryan Goldsby (5-10), of Macon, Georgia.