Claressa Shields Decisions Hanna Gabriels, Becomes Two-division Champion
Claressa Shields became a two division champion on Friday night after coming up from a first round knockdown to decision Hanna Gabriels.
Shields, who still remains undefeated got up, out worked Hanna Gabriels and won every remaining round of their 10 round bout.
Gabriels was game but Shields had to dig down dip, in a fight that was the most difficult fight of the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s brief pro career earning Judges Michael Ancona (98-91), Jeremy Hayes (97-92) and Pasquale Procopio (97-92) on the score cards.
Shields claimed the vacant IBF and WBA middleweight championships in the Show Time main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” and should be pushing for a middleweight unification fight with WBC/WBO champ Christina Hammer (23-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC), who easily out-boxed Tori Nelson (17-2-3, 2 KOs) to win a 10-round unanimous decision.
Claressa Shields moved down one division, from 168 pounds to 160, Costa Rica’s Gabriels (18-1-2, 11 KOs) moved up from 154 to 160 for the opportunity to upset Shields. Gabriels, 35, holds the WBA and WBO super welterweight titles.
“Well, for her to come up from [154 pounds], I see why she beat all the girls that’s smaller,” Shields told Showtime’s Steve Farhood in the ring. “She’s strong. She caught me with a shot in the first round and when I knew, I said, ‘OK, she just wanna move and, like I said, catch me off guard, and then land a big shot.’ After she landed the big shot, I was thinking to myself, ‘We still got it. Make sure you go out there, be smart, use your jab, move your head and tire her out.’
“I’d say in the sixth round, she started getting tired. I fought her some more. But, you know, she had some heart and she fought her ass off and she showed that she was a champion. But overall, like I said, I’m the greatest woman of all time. I can get put on my ass, get back up, fight 10 rounds and win.”
Before the loss Hanna Gabriels had lost only one of her professional fights (18-2-2, 11 KOs) to Dominican Republic’s Castillo, who knocked out Gabriels in the second round of their February 2013 Bout.
“[The knockdown] didn’t change my mind at all,” Gabriels said. “I kept working. She’s very fast and she does have a lot of power. You know, I’m a smaller kid and I’m probably feeling it more. But it was a great fight and I think the difference was – you have to trust the judges in this game and I’ll accept my loss with dignity. I gave my all.”