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Shields vs Gabriels: Press conference quotes

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Friday night’s Showtime fighters are ready for action.

Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“We have a women’s main event. We have another women’s fight for world titles as the co-main event and then, we have a male fight opening up the show. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

“After my second fight, I told Mark [Taffet] what my dreams were. My goal was to fight Christina Hammer my seventh fight to take all of her belts. That was the way that I saw it going but my professional career took off very fast and that’s why I’m the greatest female fighter of all time. I say that because where I’m from in Flint, Michigan, people have dreams all the time but we’re not given that opportunity. I was in a dark place from the age of five until I was 17.

“For someone to take away my accomplishments and say that I’m not the greatest of all time, you have to show me. When I’m in the gym training two times a day, I think about what I went through and what my family goes through and I push myself. When somebody says that they’re going to beat me, it angers me. I get mad and I punch the bag until it falls. When you tell me that I’m not the greatest woman of all time, I really hope Hanna has trained hard because it’s not going to be an easy task. I really hope that Christina Hammer has trained hard because in the future it’s not going to be an easy task either. To beat me, you’re going to have to kill me. I’m not going to go down.

“I’m the fastest woman to win a world title. I did it in my fourth fight. I was 21 years old and I was coming off winning two Olympic Gold Medals. I whipped this body into shape. In the Olympics, you fight four two-minute rounds. June 22, we’re fighting 10 two-minute rounds. I’ve been pro for a year and a half so you can’t tell me I haven’t worked hard to get to where I am. When I say that I am the greatest woman of all time, I’ve proved it. I have the belts. I have the gold medals. There’s more footage of me boxing out there than any other woman. Every fight, I improve. Just because somebody has been professional more than me, it’s not going to make it any easier for you. You have to come in there and you have to show me. I’m fighting the best and if anybody ever stands up to me, man or woman, I’ll never lose. I can’t wait until Friday night.”

HANNA GABRIELS

“I think Claressa is a great fighter. I think she has accomplished a lot. I wish that I got the chance to go to the Olympics but when I started women’s boxing wasn’t an Olympic sport. I didn’t have that chance and I’m just happy that so many women are now able to dream about that and accomplish that.

“I only have one amateur fight and people laugh at me for that. I didn’t have the same opportunities coming up in Costa Rica. I didn’t have that privilege and it’s very difficult. I didn’t have the opportunity to fight anybody so I turned professional and here we are. My path has been difficult and unexpected. Many people thought I was too old by the time I got started. It’s been an amazing journey and I came prepared for this fight. When you are a true competitor and you like to push yourself to the fullest, then you like great competition. I am glad that Claressa and I will be facing each other on Friday. I hope everybody enjoys the fight.”

CHRISTINA HAMMER

“I’m ready for this. I’m ready for you Tori. You want these two belts? You have to pass through me first. It’s time for me to shine and I’m ready.

“It was disappointing for me not to fight in January. I had some visa issues but now I have everything in order for me to make my debut. I’m so excited to finally step into the ring in the U.S.

“Right now, I’m only focused on my next fight and Tori is my target. Whatever Claressa does, I’m not focused on that. After the fight, I’m looking forward to fighting her but at the moment it’s only Hammer and Nelson.

“I saw Tori fight against Claressa. Tori is a tough fighter who likes to come forward and land some punches from the outside. I’m a longtime champion and I know how to fight against these types of fighters who come forward.

“I feel that I’m in the best shape of my life right now. I prepared very well and I have my weight already. I ate very disciplined and clean. I spent a week in Ft. Lauderdale and now I’m in Detroit so I feel ready to go and looking forward to the fight.

“I think Shields is looking forward to fighting me and is not so focused on Gabriels like she should be. I am focused only on Nelson and that’s who I prepared to beat. After this fight, we can talk about Hanna or Shields.”

TORI NELSON

“I must say that I was very hurt to get my first loss but to have it against Claressa, I’m honored. She carries herself as a champion and in order to find out if you are the best, you have to fight the best. That’s what I did. I went up a weight class and I fought the best. She showed me she was.

“Styles make fights and it’s going to be interesting but we’re going to take this win home.”

UMAR SALAMOV

“This is a tough, exciting fight for me but I’m ready for the top light heavyweights in the world and I’m going to prove that on Friday night. I know I’m a strong, heavy puncher and I’m going to show that and give my best.

‘I will bring a high-level and lots of energy. I’m going to show that I belong in the championship picture. It feels incredible and I’m honored to be fighting on Showtime.”