Claressa Shields set to defend her Ring belt against Hanna Gabriels on June 3 in Detroit
Ring Magazine female middleweight champion Claressa Shields will face Hanna Gabriels on June 3, promoter Dmitriy Salita confirmed to The Ring late Monday night. The official announcement was made Tuesday.
The 10-round bout will take place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan and will stream live DAZN.
“Claressa opening up the building will forever be embedded in the rich history of Detroit like the Joe Louis fist in downtown,” said Salita, referring to the famed landmark. “This event will transcend sports because of Claressa, what she represents and accomplished as a young girl from one of the most challenged places in the United States, who believed in herself and made a positive choice every day of her life when she was a kid to be a champion.
“Gabriels is the only fighter to ever drop Claressa, and (she) wants to avenge any blemish, however slight, in spectacular fashion.”
The first Shields-Gabriels fight took place in June 2018. Gabriels dropped Shields in the opening round and had some success in the early episodes, but began to tire by the middle rounds. Shields’ activity and punch accuracy were enough to earn her a unanimous decision victory.
Shields (13-0, 2 knockouts), who resides in nearby Flint, became the inaugural Ring champion at 160 pounds by defeating Germany’s Christina Hammer by unanimous decision. She also won the inaugural Ring crown at 154 pounds in March 2021, defeating Marie Eve Dicaire by decision.
The 28-year-old Shields was a standout amateur fighter, winning the gold medal at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, becoming the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals.
Shields also has a win over Franchon Crews-Dezurn, who is the current Ring Magazine super middleweight champion. The fight took place in November 2016, which was the pro debut for both fighters.
Gabriels (21-2-1, 12 KOs), who resides in Alajuela, Costa Rica, would fight seven months after the loss to Shields, defeating Sarah Dwyer to win the WBA junior middleweight title.
In her last bout on April 17, 2021, Gabriels stopped Martha Lara Gaytan to win both the WBA light heavyweight and WBA heavyweight titles.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]