SHOWTIME explain decision to approve Claressa Shields fight on DAZN

Stephanie Trapp

Showtime Sports have outlined their choice to allow Claressa Shields to defend her IBF, WBA and WBC World Middleweight titles against Hannah Rankin on DAZN.

Shields was due to fight Christina Hammer in an undisputed unification until illness struck the latter.

Showtime have since moved to accept an offer from Eddie Hearn for Shields to keep busy whilst Hammer recovers into 2019.

“The women’s middleweight world championship between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer has been postponed after Hammer withdrew from the Nov. 17 bout due to medical reasons.

“All parties involved have agreed to reschedule Shields vs. Hammer on SHOWTIME in 2019.

“In the meantime, Showtime has agreed to let Shields seek an optional title defense as Hammer pursues a return to the ring,” said a Showtime Sports statement on the matter.

Shields became a two-weight World ruler on home turf in Detroit in June in just her sixth pro fight with a points win over Hanna Gabriels.

She added the IBF and WBA straps at 160lbs to her IBF and WBC Super-Middleweight belts she claimed in August 2017 and defended in January.

‘T-Rex’ puts the Middleweight straps on the line against Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (5-2 1KO) who crossed the pond once again for a World title shot having challenged Alicia Napoleon.

The challenger lost out on the WBA Super-Middleweight title in August in Long Island, NY. Having picked up the WBC Silver Middleweight belt two months earlier in Scotland.


Rankin has already been involved in a social media exchange with the champion.

“Hey Hannah Rankin, we are fighting! I look forward to the showdown,” said Shields.

“Remember you asked for this! I’m not counting you out, come 100% with no excuses because I don’t have any!”

The challenger replied: “Yep! I wanted this fight and come the 17th of November we enter the ring and one of us leaves with everything!”

Promoter Hearn is purring at the prospect of featuring the WBN WP4P #3 on his forthcoming show in Kansas.

“Kansas is going to be wild!” said Eddie Hearn. “It’s another stacked card topped by Jarrell Miller who is making a real charge in the Heavyweight division.

“There is an all Mexican war between Kansas own Brandon Rios and Canelo brother Ramon.

“Luis Arias and Gabe Rosado go to battle with a potential World Middleweight title shot on the line.

“Off the back of huge network ratings, Claressa Shields defends her World titles against tough Scot Hannah Rankin.

“Kansas hero Nico Hernandez defends his title and three-weight World champ Ricky Burns also stars.

“This arena is going to fill up quick and we look forward to another stacked card on DAZN,” he added.

Click here for the full DAZN Schedule for 2018