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Claressa Shields aims to setting the record straight against Hanna Gabriels in homecoming bout

Claressa Shields - Photo by Dennis Mosley/Salita Promotions
Fighters Network

Ring middleweight world champion Claressa Shields went face-to-face Tuesday with her nemesiss and former champion Hanna Gabriels at a press conference in Detroit to preview the return of big-time boxing to city on Saturday, June 3.

The first boxing event at Little Caesars Arena will be streamed live on DAZN in the U.S. and Canada.

The only two-division undisputed champion in the four-belt era, Shields, a Flint, Michigan native, will be facing Gabriels in a rematch after originally facing her in 2018. In their previous fight, Gabriels put 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. Although she recovered to win an exciting unanimous decision, Shields will look for an emphatic ending to their rivalry on June 3.

“The knockdown pissed me off because it was a flash knockdown. After the fight I was very upset and very frustrated and I said ‘I want to fight her some more.’ I wanted to do the rematch immediately,” said Shields, to a crowd that featured a who’s-who of Detroit boxing legends, champions and contenders including Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, Hilmer Kenty, Bronco McKart, Tony Harrison and more.  “I beat her unanimously after being knocked down and this time I don’t want a unanimous decision. I want the knockout. She’s able to get knocked out, it’s happened to her before. I’m able to get knocked down. It happened to me before, but I got back up and won.”

Playing in a stadium so close to her childhood home adds an extra measure of motivation to Shields.

“This is a dream come true for me. Born and raised in Flint, you know I’ve come to many games here to watch the Pistons play. Me and my grandmother watched the Pistons play on TV when they won the championship and now to actually be here fighting in front of all these fans…This was unheard of in women’s boxing when I turned pro.

“I’m fighting here in Detroit in front of all my family and all my friends. Hanna Gabriels is in a real heap of trouble come June 3. Y’all want to be there because this is the fight that will solidify what I’ve been saying, that there’s no girl in this world who can get in the ring with me and take me. I’m a problem.”

Shields (13-0, 2 knockouts) likes to stress the fact that she is a completely different fighter than the one that was sent down to the canvas for the first time ever in her first bout against Gabriels (21-2-1, 12 KOs).

“I took on the biggest challenges when I turned pro and Hanna Gabriels was one of my biggest challenges. Back then, I had two belts and I was 5-0. Hanna Gabriels was 18-1 and the one girl that beat her, she came back and beat her. So, we knew Hannah Gabriels was a dog. (Now) I have traveled the world and fought girls who were way bigger than Hanna Gabriels and come out on top, so I don’t know why anyone would say I’ve been ducking her. That’s a lie. I haven’t ducked anyone.

“I’m from Flint, Michigan. I want all the smoke. Whoever got the smoke, let’s go. Let’s fight.”

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased through, and the XFINITY Box Office at Little Caesars Arena. The event is promoted by Salita Promotions and 313 Presents.

A press release by Salita Promotions was used in this article.