Undisputed middleweight boxing champion Claressa Shields defends her titles in Detroit against Hanna Gabriels in June. And for Shields, the bout is all about earning a finish.
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Claressa Shields defended titles in June in Detroit
Reigning women’s middleweight boxing champion Claressa Shields has her sights set on delivering for her hometown this summer.
Shields will put her titles on the line against four-division champion Hanna Gabriels in a rematch on June 3. The event streams live on DAZN from Detroit and the Little Caesars Arena.
The 28-year-old from Flint, Michigan scored a decision victory back in 2018 over Gabriels to win the vacant WBA and inaugural IBF middleweight title.
“My goal is to knock her out as soon as the chance comes,” Shields said. “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.”
Shields continues to make history
Each time she steps inside the boxing ring, Shields seems to be making history.
She is the only two-division undisputed champion in boxing history. But Gabriels does hold a little history over her.
During that first encounter, she knocked Shields to the canvas in the first round. To date, that remains the only knockdown on the resume of Shields.
“She had moments in the first fight and she believes that she can win the fight,” Shields said. “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 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.”
Who is Hanna Gabriels?
Born in Costa Rica, Gabriels has held titles in four different weight classes and has fought from welterweight all the way up to heavyweight.
The 40-year-old is 21-2-1 with 12 knockouts, including a recent finish of Martha Gaytan for the inaugural WBA light heavyweight and vacant WBC heavyweight titles last year.
She has won each of her last three fights since the loss to Shields and is 8-1 over the last nine with three finishes.
Shields vs. Gabriels I