FLINT, Mich. — Not only is Claressa Shield’s boxing IQ very high, but his memory is outstanding as well. Eight months after avenging her last loss as an amateur against Savannah Marshall, on June 3rd, Shields will be facing the only female to put her on the canvas in a rematch against Hanna Gabriels. Although, Shields went on to win a wide margin unanimous decision, touching the canvas did not sit well with the GWOAT [Great Woman Of All Time]. It also doesn’t help that Gabriels claims of the scorecards being too one sided, has Shields gunning for a knockout to remove the judges and all doubt. A score will be settled in Detroit on June 3rd live on DAZN. Shields continues to make history as she will be the first boxer to compete in the Little Caesars Arena, the home of the Detroit Pistons.
Shields shares her thoughts on making history, rematching Gabriels, and much more with Zenger News.
Zenger: You recently tweeted that you have trouble sleeping during camp and that you rely on Melatonin to rest. Is that something new?
Shields: It’s been like that my whole life. Getting ready for the Junior Olympics, Olympics Trials, Olympics. I just take Melatonin now because I really be needing my sleep (laughing).
Zenger: June 22, 2018 was your first fight with Hanna Gabriels and June 3, 2023 is the rematch. Nearly the 5-year anniversary. Although you won, do you feel you have unfinished business here?
Shields: Sure! Me just being a competitor, her knocking me down didn’t sit too well with me. The aftermath of the fight, I don’t know if she was saying she felt she won, or if she thought the fight was closer than what the scorecards said, I don’t know. That didn’t sit well either, because yeah, she got the knockdown, but I made sure I won the next 2 rounds to make the fight even, then after that, I made sure I won every round after that.
I hate when girls live off of one thing. Savannah Marshall lived off of an amateur win for 10 -years where they actually robbed me. And now, Gabriels doing the same thing of living off of a knockdown in a fight she got beat up in, and then said afterwards that I avoided a rematch with her. No honey bun, you’re the one only fought 3 times in the last 5 years. I fought 8 different times and I’ve traveled to the U.K. to Cardiff. I’ve been all over the world fighting and yet you’re saying I’m avoiding you. How am I avoiding you when I’m out here fighting? That doesn’t make sense. That’s where the unfinished business comes from.
I know in the past 5-years, I have improved tremendously, defense, offense, IQ, and power. I think that she thinks because she knocked me down that she’s stronger than me, that’s a myth. I don’t know why she thinks that, but I’m going to show her that, she may be a great fighter, but I’m the greatest fighter. I don’t care about getting a unanimous decision, I want to knock her out this time, so I can shut her up forever.
Zenger: You only had 5 fights when you fought her the first time and even now, she has almost more knockouts than you have fights. How do you plan to show your growth as a fighter on June 3rd?
Shields: I think it will naturally show. If you saw my performance against Marshall, you saw how I picked my shots, how I laid my body into her when I hit her with the shots. How I can deal with taller, stronger fighters with power. How I can use my speed when I need to. My defense was on point, it’s impeccable. To me she’s now better skilled than Marshall, she’s not stronger than Marshall. She is underestimating me and that’s what’s going to get her hurt. She’s in for a hell of a ride on June 3rd and I’m really excited to punch her in the face and in her mouth.
Zenger: You are always cognizant of milestones, you talked about you and your grandmother watching the Detroit Pistons and the Little Caesars Arena, and now you become the first boxer to fight there. What does this particular milestone mean to you?
Shields: When I was with Showtime, I fought the main events, and I fought the venues that held 4,500… 6,000 people. But I was like, when am I going to be able to fight at T-Mobile Arena, Madison Square Garden, Little Caesars Arena. I was unaware that Little Caesars had never had a boxing match there. This is the biggest venue in Detroit, so I just assumed. I wasn’t given the opportunity when I was with Showtime and other networks, except when I went to Boxxer and I fought at the O2 Arena against Savannah Marshall. I think when it sold out 20,000 fans, 2 million watched in the U.K. and 6 million watched worldwide, I think that woke a lot of people up. It brought to the forefront what I had been saying, how am I big enough to go to the U.K. and fight and get all of this attention, but you guys are saying I’m not big enough in America and America is where I’m from. It didn’t make sense. My brand is bigger than what they give me credit for.
When I got the opportunity and Little Caesars said they would love to have me be the first person to fight there, I was overjoyed. I didn’t believe it. I thought they would be calling and saying, you can fight here, we could have you at this venue (laughing). I’m really grateful that they chose me. Out of all these great boxers they chose me to bring boxing back to Detroit. They chose the woman, the head woman in charge to do it, and I’m just excited. I’m excited that my fans in America get to come see me fight. I haven’t fought in America in 2 years. But all my fans stayed in tune and watched me. They came to the U.K. they flew out to Cardiff. During the pandemic there were a lot of fans that flew to Flint, but only 200 people were allowed in the venue although the venue held 6,500. We were going to pack the place out. There were thousands of people outside that couldn’t get in because of COVID.
I’m bringing boxing back to Detroit with a big fight. I wasn’t the best in the world before and I was just fighting back home. I’m the best in the world right now. I am breaking records, and this is just the beginning. We have so many things we want to do. I’m going to fight in Africa, I’m going to fight in the U.K. again, I’m going to fight in Dubai, I’m going to fight at the T-Mobile Arena. So many things are going to happen after this fight that I am excited about. But I have a big challenge in front of me in Hanna Gabriels and she wants to disrupt all of that, so I am excited that this is happening June 3rd.
Zenger: The record of your last 7 opponents is 124-6. No tune-up type fights for Claressa Shields. That is impressive.
Shields: What girl would be my tune-up? I’m only allowed to fight the best. Whoever the world, the commission, or sanctioning bodies think is the best is who I fight. I don’t ever pick my fights. If I was able to pick my fights, I wanted to beat up Raquel Miller in front of 15,000 people, or fight Maricela Cornejo in front of 15,000 of my fans. They tell me I’m fighting this day against this opponent, and I say, okay. I let them do their thing because my only job is to stay in shape for fights and win.
Zenger: Who has more to work on going into this rematch, the person that won the first fight, you, or the one who lost, Gabriels?
Shields: I don’t know what Hanna has to work on, that ain’t my business. I know I want to look better than my last fight. I can’t compare myself to anybody else because I’m the best. I know I want to get better and what I lack in. I want to improve the mistakes I made in my last fight against Marshall and my first fight against Gabriels. I’ve already fixed those mistakes from 5 years ago. With this fight coming up, I can’t even watch our first fight because I don’t fight like that no more. To me, that fight, and my performance was trash. The fighter I am now compared to back then… Claressa right now would knock out Claressa from 5 year ago. I can’t take anything away from that fight because I don’t fight nothing like that anymore. I see her tendencies and things she like to do when I watch our first fight. She thinks the only thing she did wrong in our last fight was have bad defense, I’m gonna let her keep thinking that, but she did a lot more wrong than that (laughing).
Edited by Virginia Van Zandt
Recommended from our partners
The post Claressa Shields Becomes First Boxer To Fight In Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena On June 3 appeared first on Zenger News.