Shields to fight Rancier in June in Detroit


Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will headline promoter Dmitriy Salita’s next “Detroit Brawl” card when she faces Mery Rancier in her first scheduled eight-round bout on June 16 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, Salita announced Friday.

Shields, 22, of Flint, Michigan, will fight in her home region for the second fight in a row. She turned pro in November and won a four-round decision against amateur rival Franchon Crews on the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev undercard in Las Vegas.

Then Shields (2-0, 1 KO) knocked out Szilvia Szabados in the fourth round of a scheduled six-round fight on March 10. Shields faced Szabados in Detroit and became the first female boxer to headline a show on premium cable, doing so on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.

“I’m looking forward to June 16 and my first eight-round fight, as I continue to reach higher on the road to the biggest fights and the continued rise of women’s boxing,” Shields said. “I can’t wait to get back in the ring and give my fans in Detroit and around the world another great night of boxing.”

Shields was the dominant figure in women’s amateur boxing in recent years. She was 77-1 as an amateur and won middleweight gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs), 32, of the Dominican Republic, is coming off a 10-round decision loss to Germany’s Nikki Adler on March 11 in a challenge for a vacant women’s super middleweight world title.

Mark Taffet, Shields’ manager, had made it a priority to establish Shields in the Detroit area, where she has a growing fan base.

“We are very excited to be returning to Detroit on June 16 for the next chapter in Claressa Shields’ road to women’s boxing history,” said Taffet, the former HBO Sports boxing executive. “Claressa will be in great shape as always, and looks to give her fans a night to remember.”

Salita is happy to include her on another of his cards.

“Claressa is an American hero from Flint, Michigan, and for people around the world,” he said. “Like with all her fights, fans attending this event will witness a part of history.”


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