MULVANE, Kansas — Two-time Olympic gold medalist and unified women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields, fresh off a lopsided decision win over Hannah Rankin on Saturday, will return to the ring on December 8th against super middleweight titleholder Femke Hermans, industry sources told SI.com.
Shields-Hermans, which will be contested at the 160-pound middleweight limit, will take place at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, Calif. and be televised by HBO, as part of the network’s final boxing broadcast.
Shields (7-0) rolled to a unanimous decision over Rankin (5-3) in the co-main event of the DAZN-televised show headlined by heavyweight Jarrell Miller’s win over Bogdan Dinu. Shields, in her second fight working with noted trainer John David Jackson, overwhelmed Rankin with power punches, racking up identical 100-90 scores on all three judges scorecards.
Shields will need to get past Hermans (9-1) before moving ahead to a planned unification fight against Christina Hammer. Hammer withdrew from a scheduled fight with Shields last month, and Shields’s team has agreement in place to face Hammer on Showtime in the first half of 2019, likely in April.
In December, Shields will share the stage with Cecilia Braekhus, the undisputed women’s welterweight champion whose title defense against Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes will headline the show. Shields told SI.com that she would like to face Braekhus, and is willing to come down to 154-pounds to make the fight.
Getting Braekhus to come up from 147-pounds may be difficult. Braekhus has minimal interest in moving up to 154 pounds to face Shields, two sources close to Braekhus told SI.com, citing Shields’s size and the likelihood she would rehydrate to a significantly heavier weight. Braekhus would be interested in facing Shields at 147-pounds, a weight Shields’s nutritionist has told her she could safely make—but one Shields isn’t interested in.