DETROIT (AP) — The Motor City has landed a big punch to get back in the fight game.
Claressa Shields will fight Hanna Gabriels for the women’s world middleweight championship on June 3, bringing boxing to Little Caesars Arena for the first time since it opened in 2017.
DAZN, which will carry the match live, made the announcement.
Shields, who hails from Flint, Michigan, headlines the card that will include up-and-coming fighters from Michigan.
“Claressa opening up the building will forever be imbedded in the rich history of Detroit like the Joe Louis fist in downtown,” Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, said Monday. “This event will transcend sports because of Claressa, what she represents and accomplished as a young girl from one of the most challenged places in the USA, who believed in herself and made a positive choice every day of her life when she was a kid to be a champion.”
Gabriels, who is from Costa Rica, became the only opponent to knock Shields down before losing to her in 2018 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. Gabriels is 21-2-1 as a professional.
Last October in London at the sold-out 02 Arena, Shields avenged her only career defeat by beating Savannah Marshall with an unanimous decision to become the undisputed women’s world middleweight champion.
Shields, a two-time Olympic champion, is 13-0 as a professional and lost to Marshall as an amateur in 2012.
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