Each of the three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Shields (5-0, 2 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, who was almost 20 years younger than her opponent.
All three judges - Glenn Feldman, John McKaie and Don Trella - scored each of the 10 rounds for Shields (100-90). "She was just tough".
"I think she's pretty scared, to be honest", Shields said speaking to ESPN afterwards. "But she was definitely tough and fought a good fight". "She did her game plan, but I just did more". Shields connected with 186 of 425 power punches to 70 of 348 for Nelson and the champion hit Nelson with 63 body shots while taking 21. The fight ended with a strong left hand from the champion.
Shields continued to land against Nelson during the sixth round, but couldn't hurt her older, slower opponent.
Claressa Shields' fifth fight was the longest of her brief professional career. Shields drilled Nelson with a flush right hand to the jaw when there were about 25 seconds to go in the fifth. Nelson pressed forward, but her wide shots enabled Shields to counter with accurate, straight shots down the middle. Afterward, she credited Nelson for the fight she put up while going the full 10 rounds.
She's likely to return to the ring in April and perhaps drop down in weight to face unbeaten middleweight champ Christina Hammer of Germany in June or July.
Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) said she couldn't wait to make her US debut.
Nelson, of Ashburn, Virginia, took the fight to Shields at the outset, but as the bout wore on the young champion proved to be the more skilled boxer, able to avoid Nelson's big hooks and using her jab to keep her foe at bay.
"I landed every shot that I thought possible to land". "She didn't even show up here to fight". "She was supposed to fight on the undercard today and she didn't want me to see her".
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