Hanna Gabriels fights for pride and heritage in her rematch against Claressa Shields
Costa Rica’s Hanna Gabriels was the first woman to knock down Claressa Shields in the pro ranks during their first fight. And now she wants to be the first one to defeat her as a professional as well.
But she was also the first woman in her family to take on the task of carrying on the family tradition, and she finds just as much motivation in that fact as she does in anything else.
“For me, this fight is about heritage,” said Gabriels (21-2-1, 12 knockouts) during a press conference ahead of her clash against Shields on June 3 in Detroit’s Little Caesar Arena. “My father used to box and just recently we were speaking about that, and he was telling me some stories about my grandfather, who was a street fighter and my great-grandfather, who participated in the construction of the rails of the train in Costa Rica when there was slavery in Costa Rica. So it is about heritage today. I am so honored to carry so much and to bring it to this fight and to bring Costa Rica with me.”
Gabriels has some vivid memories to share about her first fight against Shields (13-0, 2 KOs).
“We were here in 2018. I remember that fight was a great fight. I think it was a close fight and I wasn’t mad about Claressa winning. I was mad about the cards, because I think I didn’t deserve those cards. Even for your fights afterwards, I don’t think the other girls gave you as much of a fight and they did better on the cards, so I am here to redeem myself.”
Gabriels acknowledged that she has been willing to make this fight at any weight for a long time, as well.
“Two years ago, you fought for the undisputed at 154 and I was still the champion there and you avoided me for whatever reason. I am here to take what’s yours at 160,” she said about Shields, the current Ring magazine middleweight champion, before going on to praise her opponent for her many accomplishments.
“I am very proud of Claressa. She’s done so much, she’s the face of women’s boxing and she is actually the greatest. She has accomplished so much. It’s not only about the ring, but she has handled pressure. She has backed up her words. She said she’ll beat my ass again and I thought it was a strong word because I didn’t feel like I’d been beaten. But we have the opportunity to do it again.
“I’m so honored to be here. It’s a privilege to be here in Detroit and hopefully we bring a war again that people will enjoy.”
Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased through 313Presents.com, Ticketmaster.com 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.