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Claressa Shields: If I was a man, I’d be the face of boxing

Flint’s two-division undisputed champion Claressa Shields faces her old rival and four-division world champion Hanna Gabriels from Costa Rica in the rematch on Saturday, June 3 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. The pair squares off in the scheduled for 10 rounds bout live stream on DAZN.


Shields has set her sights squarely on an emphatic victory in her rematch against Gabriels, even having her trainer John David Jackson paste a photo of her upcoming foe on their pads.

“My goal is to knock her out as soon as the chance comes,” said Shields. “I don’t want to be in the ring with her for 10 rounds. That’s respect to her. My goal is to train to catch her with a shot or multiple shots, and get the fight over with. I’m always in shape for 10 rounds, but I’m calculating where I’m gonna land those shots so that I can get her out of there.”

“Claressa is already in incredible shape and is working extremely hard to showcase her best in this historic homecoming fight,” added Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Everyone watching this fight is going to see a boxing great in the prime of her career performing on a big stage. Claressa wants to avenge the only knockdown of her career, and she knows the best way to do that is with a spectacular knockout victory.”

‘This next fight is a big next step for me’

The only two-division undisputed champion in boxing history, Shields looks to continue to make history as she brings big-time boxing to the home of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings for the first time. The Flint, Michigan native first faced Gabriels in Shields’ sixth pro fight back in 2018, with Gabriels putting Shields on the canvas in round one with a vicious right uppercut-left hook combination.

It remains the only time Shields has ever been knocked down as a professional or amateur and although she recovered to win an exciting unanimous decision, she will look for an emphatic ending to their rivalry on June 3.

Here is more of what Shields had to say from training camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:

“I have a very tough opponent in front of me. This is different from every other fight. I’ve gone in there and dominated almost everybody, except Hanna Gabriels. That’s why this fight is more important to me. She’s the only one who’s possessed the power to knock me down, and she knows that.

“She had moments in the first fight and she believes that she can win the fight. I’ve never gone into a fight against an opponent who knows they have the power to actually hurt me. This is a very serious training camp and I’m not taking her lightly. I’m going to fix my mistakes and make this fight easier for myself.

“I’ve gotten a lot better as a fighter. I can’t make a game plan based off our first fight, because I’ not the same fighter. That’s going to play into my favor.

“I see that Hanna has gotten more confident since our first fight. She’s a lot bigger having fought at heavyweight. She said something about the fire inside of her and how me being so great has angered her. Those are the only differences I see in her.

“Fighting is fighting, so I wasn’t worried about going to the U.K. to take out Savannah Marshall. But I am happy now to be at the point in my career where I can be the first boxer to headline at Little Caesars Arena.

“There’s something about people doubting me that really turns me up. Marshall had been bragging about winning an amateur fight for 10 years. I enjoyed going over there and showing her and all her people that she can’t do anything to me.

“If I was a man, I’d be the face of boxing. I’ve got more accomplishments than everybody. I’m just gonna keep continuing to build myself and let the world accept me and women’s boxing. This next fight is a big next step for me.”

In Australia, Claressa Shields vs Hanna Gabriels 2 airs live on Sunday, June 4.




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