Take your pick: punches or punch lines. Two entirely different attractions grace the Boardwalk on Saturday, April 13.

Boxing brings serious business with the Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer middleweight unification bout to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Two undefeated fighters vie to become one of the sport’s rare undisputed champions. On the lighter side, former golfer David Feherty brings his “Off Tour” show to Ocean Resort Casino.

Come out fighting

Shields, a native of Flint, Mich., holds three of the middleweight division crowns. Hammer, based in Germany, owns the fourth. The winner will walk out with four titles, joining Cecelia Braekhus as the only undisputed women’s champion in the four-title-belt era.

The bout gains added pedigree as the main event on the Showtime television network. It has also been aided by all-access programming across various platforms.

“This is the biggest women’s fight because people are aware of who we both are,” says Shields, the first American boxer in history, male or female, to win consecutive Olympic Gold medals (2012 and 2016). “I am well-known, she has been a reigning champion for several years and we are both going to raise the bar for women’s boxing. We will show that women can talk smack and fight their butts off. We come to the press conferences, we dress nicely and then we fight like champions.”

Shields has been one since her fourth fight, in which she defeated Nikki Adler to become the unified super-middleweight champion. She later took the unlikely route of going down in weight to capture a middleweight crown. Shields has long exuded a calm confidence and has now risen to the public demands of selling a fight. She has called herself the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and says Hammer’s resume is less impressive.

“I don’t take life too seriously,” she says when asked what the public does not know about her. “People think I am cocky, that I’m not too humble, but they don’t know how hard I work. Somebody who works hard will never be a person to doubt themselves. If I go into a gym and put my body through a lot of pain and when I dedicate my life to the sport, what am I supposed to say, ‘I’m gonna lose?’ There will be somebody crying after this fight and I promise you it won’t be me.”

Hammer, 24-0 with 11 knockouts, has dominated the 160-pound division since beating Teresa Perozzi in October 2010 to win the WBO belt. Most of her fights have been in Germany, where Hammer is a megastar.

Now, she heads here.

“Women’s boxing is very big in Germany and it is attracting more attention now because of the television coverage,” she says. “For me, it’s important to now show that here is this female warrior, this undisputed champion. This is going to be big for our sport.”

The 19th hole

Golf prides itself on the “19th hole,” usually a bar, as a gathering spot for larger-than-life storytelling, anecdotes and humor. Who better to combine these elements than a witty former PGA star? David Feherty’s two-hour, one-man performance spans a journey witnessing the game from several vantage points: a top-notch amateur representing Ireland for international competitions, a former PGA player, a Golf Channel broadcaster and now, a stage performer.

Following his retirement from the tours, Feherty became an on-course reporter and golf analyst earning his own show in the Golf Channel in 2011. Over the course of five seasons, he interviewed well-known personalities including former President Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump, lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, five-time NBA MVP Bill Russell, comedic genius Larry David, and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014 for “Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host.”

Feherty’s prime audience is “people who are between the ages of 40 and 110,” he laughs. “People love stories about the older players, the caddies and how difficult the game is to play. The game is going to humiliate you, so if you can’t be humorous when you are on the golf course, it’s not good for you to be out there.”

One couldn’t find a more contrasting pace to boxing than the golf world. Feherty’s anecdotes require the ability to be aware of the absurdity of situations.

“I’m always reminded of the pointlessness of the game,” he laughs. “I remember going to play an exhibition in Turkey and going through Customs. The guy looks at my clubs and says ‘what are those?’ I tell him they are golf clubs, but can see he doesn’t have a clue. I have to take a club out and say ‘here is a ball, you hit it off a tee, you go find it, hopefully in short grass and then you hit it into another area of short grass and then you put the ball in a cup.’ I took out the putter to show him how you finish off the hole. He just looked at me and said ‘why?’ I still haven’t been able to answer that question. And that was 35 years ago!”

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