Transcript of Hannah Gabriels Interview on her Return in 2019
3kingsboxing has learned WBA Female super welterweight champion Hanna Gabriels (18-2-1, 11KOs) will be facing Sarah Dwyer (3-4-2, 1KO), in her home country of Costa Rica.
This will be a her first fight after losing a unanimous decision to unified middleweight champion Claressa Shields in June. We were able to catch up with the champ and get her thoughts on her return.
On Her Homecoming
3kingsboxing: What does this mean to you? Fighting in your hometown in Costa Rica and defending the championship in front of all the people? How does that make you feel? How excited are you?
Gabriels: Well you know it’s been awhile since the fight with Claressa. I have been on and on training and waiting, trying to be patient for opportunities and stuff.
Finally, we came up with the idea of fighting in my home town. I am really excited! It’s always a pleasure and privilege to fight in Costa Rica.
The people have a lot of love for me and they support me so much. All the messages I receive usually don’t have anything to do with the fight itself.
It’s always “Hanna I am praying for you and your health. I’m praying for everything to come out good; doesn’t matter if you lose or win, we just want you to be okay.”That says a lot about the people that follow you.
It’s not just a matter of winning fights. They truly care about me, my health and that’s very very special for me. Its a great opportunity to share with people. Usually I stay after the fights until the last person is gone so we can take pictures and celebrate a little bit about the fight.
I am honored to fight in my town.
On a Possible Unification Bout in the Future
3kingsboxing: You are one of the stars in women’s boxing and one of the reasons why it is popular. What do you see for yourself in 2019? Any possibility of a unification fight?
Gabriels: I am very excited! This fight in January is the first of the year! I plan to fight three times next year and there is a possibility of unification with the WBC champion.
I have been behind her for a while already, but she didn’t fight for a few years. Then, soon as I moved up to fight Claressa, she fought.
She has had two fights already, so I guess she can’t say no anymore. I am happy for that. We will see if match-up with Claressa can happen. I don’t know and I would love to fight Cecilia Breakhus.
I am just keeping with my training and be ready. Hopefully all these opportunities show up and I can take advantage of it. This year, the fight with Claressa was a great fight. I lost, but I felt really blessed it was called fight of the year.
I feel so honored and so blessed. It has been hard work for people to recognize all the hard work and years. So, next year, I hope to be a part of the biggest and greatest fights.
On Her Connection With the Fans
3kingsboxing: You seem to have a very good, strong connection with the fans where ever you go. How important is that to you have such fan support and interaction? Does that drive you to be the best?
Gabriels: When I do motivational speaking and stuff I always tell people thats one of the things that drives me. It’s not just the support. I think it’s a selfish way to see it.
Because things are not always about you, sometimes people want to do this and that. They want to prove some people wrong, especially the ones that don’t support you. Hate to see you victorious, or envious and stuff.
A lot of people find a reason to make things harder and better just to prove those people wrong. I don’t understand that reason; because why put all that effort into trying to prove to people who don’t love you and be happy to see you fail? Why put so much energy into that? I find a greater purpose when I find my drive on people that love me and want to see me victorious and they feel inspired by that.
At the end of the day, the way you impact people’s lives is what is truly valuable. It is important ’cause, if I can make a change or motivate them in the very best way. Have expectations for themselves.
That is why it’s important and that is what makes me feel good about the support that I usually get from my people. I also like to walk around and show people that being a world champion or being able to reach your goals don’t make you any different.
We all have battles in our hearts, minds and spiritual life. Just the fact of people being successful in some areas doesn’t mean they have it easy or stopped fighting. I like to show people I am just another human being.
I have the same problems and feelings. I like them to know they can also be victorious even though we have big obstacles.
On The Future of Women’s Boxing
3kingsboxing: We wanna thank you for your time and speaking with us. Last question. Looking at the boost that women boxing got this year, what would you like to see help further advance the sport for women’s boxing in 2019? Is there anything you specifically think needs to change?
Gabriels: Better purses! I would like to see more respect for what we do. It’s a shame that just because we are women, the value is lower. There is no reason at all that justifies the fact that we are being underpaid.
So, I would like to see much more respect in that. Hopefully the job we are doing today, if it will not happen to the majority of us, it will happen for all women in the future.
Watch Gabriels take on Dwyer in San Jose, Costa Rica on January 26.
By: Garrisson Bland