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The judges have it 97-92, 98-91 and 97-92 for Claressa Shields, who passed a big-time test vs. Hanna Gabriels. Now, she’s a unified middleweight titlist.
But still, she had to overcome some adversity with that first-round knockdown.
“She caught me with a shot in the first. I was thinking, ‘You still got it. Be smart, use your jab and tire her out,'” Shields told Showtime after the fight. … “Now, I’m really dangerous. They know they can knock me down, and I’m going to get back up and fight harder.”
Then, Shields got a little rambunctious. She called out Christina Hammer, and the two nearly came to blows in the center of the ring (with Showtime’s Steve Farhood nearly getting run over by Shields in the process). Plenty of trash-talking ensued.
Meanwhile, Gabriels was asked about the first-round knockdown of Shields, and she said it didn’t change her mindset. “I kept working. She’s very fast, and she does have a lot of power. I’m a smaller kid, and I probably felt it more.”
Gabriels said she didn’t think the gap was as wide as the judges said, but she put it smartly when she said, “For the fans, I don’t think it went wrong at all.”