Claressa Shields: Tell Hanna Gabriels to put her f**cking belts up

With Claressa Shields and Hanna Gabriels looking to face off in a much-anticipated rematch on June 3rd, we caught up with the self-proclaimed GWOAT, Claressa Shields.

The pair is headlining a DAZN show in Detroit. 

The American fighter talked about her approach to the fight, how she wants to get the knockout and what it means to be back fighting in the US for the first time since 2021. 

The fight against Hanna Gabriels is Claressa’s first professional rematch and the GWOAT is keen on demonstrating that she still has the upper hand, having an advantage because of their previous fight: 

“This is my first rematch as a professional. And usually, I go into fights never having been in the ring with the fighter before. Now that I've been inside the ring with her and beat her already, I know what to expect.”

“To me, that makes the fight easier. I know she said, that she's improved in certain areas, but I know the areas where I can adapt and take advantage of her range, and where I can hurt her and that's what I want to do.”

I'm like a computer when it comes to boxing

Claressa Shields

“I've already proved that I'm a better boxer and I was able to prove that I'm stronger than her. But now it's all about picking my shots and not letting her win any of the flurries that she likes to throw in. And I'm fully prepared to do that. I have a lot more experience now.” 

“I think that this fight will have its challenges because she's strong and she has the experience and we've been inside the right with each other. But I feel like I have the upper hand in this fight and I want to come very close or I'm going to get her stopped. For sure it is going to be one or the other.” 

Claressa Shields already knows what will be the difference between the two fighters in the upcoming bout, having prepared multiple game plans so she’s ready for whatever Hanna Gabriels will bring:

“I am strong, I’m fast and I have a great IQ. I have a great defence. All my strengths are better than hers, all of them.”

“She can say, ‘Oh, she's stronger and she's more experienced’ or whatever the case may be. It doesn't matter what she said. I know for a fact that I'm number one in the world and she's maybe number eight if she wants me to be honest. Eight or five or something like that, but she's not number one.” 

“To be number one you have to beat those girls who are up there. And I would beat whoever they send. I'm a three-time division world champion. I've already beat up some of the best girls.” 

She's underestimating me. And that's what's going to get her hurt

Claressa Shields on Hanna Gabriels

“She does a couple of dirty things too that I'm going to speak to them about. She headbutted me multiple times in our first fight and gave me a permanent mark right here on my face.”

“She's a professional headbutter. So I know that she'll use her head in the fight. That's something else that I got to worry about. She probably doesn't do it on purpose, but she does it and it's illegal.”

For Claressa Shields, it’s not only about winning the fight, it’s about showing the world and herself that she has become a better fighter since their last outing. The GWOAT wants to get the knockout. 

“(I want to get the knockout) to show that I have continued to get better. Coming off a big win against Savannah Marshall, I learned a lot, and I learned that I haven’t been using some of my strengths correctly.”

“I’m going to use my strengths correctly against Hanna Gabriels because I already beat her unanimously.

"So why go in there and beat her unanimously again? How do you prove that you got better? Okay, You prove that you have gotten better by getting knockdowns or getting the knockout. And I believe that with my skill set and how much I've grown in the past five years that I can do that and that she's underestimating me.”

“She's going to get caught, she's going to get hurt, and she's not going to know what to do, but quit when I get done with her.“

When asked about fighting on home soil and how much it means to her, Claressa Shields opens up about how she has worked hard for this opportunity and she’s pleading for Hanna Gabriels to put her belts up for the winner to make it worth Claressa’s while. 

“It means a lot. Little Caesars Arena has never had a boxing match. I'm happy that the little girl from Flint has bought big-time boxing back to Detroit. I worked hard for his opportunity and I went across the seas and prove my dominance and my greatness across the world.”

“People want to see me fight. People are coming in, buying tickets to see me fight. This is my time now to actually grow to the sport of women's boxing and I'm doing a great job with that in the US and worldwide.”

Everybody is talking about how Hanna Gabriels is so confident and this and that. Tell her to put her f***ing belts up

Shields on making this fight worth her while

“She's the heavyweight world champ, right? Put her f***ing belts up. How about that?"

"Why am I coming in and putting up all five of my belts? If she loses, she is still the heavyweight world champion. Does she really think she’s going to beat me? Put her fucking belts up or shut up.”

“Put her belts up - that's what needs to happen. And that’s to Hanna Gabriels and her manager. If you are all also confident that you are going to win the fight, put her belts up. So when I win, I can be the 15-time world champion and still undisputed champion.”

“Make it worth my while. Let's go.”

Whether or not all the belts will be up for grabs remains to be seen but we’re definitely in for quite the event as both fighters will do all they can to come out victorious.

Photo by Matthew Payne