For reasons beyond the control of the World Boxing Association 175 lbs. champion, Hanna Gabriels, and her rival Angie Paola Rocha, her presentation in Colombia, scheduled for August 13 in the coffee city of Cali, had to be postponed.
Gabriels was recently notified by the promoter of which she is part of as an athlete, that because one of the trainers of the main fight tested positive for COVID-19, the entire card was postponed; «We were super happy to be able to fight in Colombia. It is a brother country that I admire and love. But unfortunately, since the main fight of the event was cancelled, it won’t be possible for now. The last few years of the pandemic have taught us all to be more patient and let things flow. These unexpected situations affect quite a bit because camps are held, with a scheduled work load We are never sure when we are going to fight and that’s why we are always ready, but the training processes change according to the commitments. So we are waiting for the new date.
While The Costa Rican Amazon remains prepared, through constant training, the 175 pounds has been a progressive adaptation for the champion, who holds both the black and gold crown and the WBC, which is considered the top weight division in the female branch of boxing. «I can no longer handle training like I did before. It’s no secret to anyone that I’m a smaller boxer. That’s why I was at 154. The women at this top weight are very very heavy and stronger. So, we have been training because we want to show people that boxing is more than punching power. The new generation of viewers of the sport, they lose sight of what boxing is all about. I know people are easily impressed by hard punches and so on. But I think there’s a lot more to offer for the true fans; seeing athletes improving in their technique, getting better, putting on a better show, that’s what makes the boxing world end up winning. That’s why we are focused on it. We want to surprise the world. I was rarely in the ring since the pandemic and prior to the pandemic I had injured my biceps which took me six months of rehab. It was difficult, but above all we feel grateful and fortunate to be able to do what we love and be among the best in the world to have the opportunity to prove ourselves to them.»
Gabriels was included among the Legends of Central American Boxing in March of this year. DAZN selected her as the only woman among the 10 best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of Central American boxing. Hanna Gabriel has a career spanning more than 15 years and has won four belts at different weights. Even her figure has grown by being the only fighter to manage to send Claressa Shields to the canvas there by June 2018.
» Together with my husband, as a boxer and my trainer, we are a team. We have been working on different projects for a while now. We have our own gym and right now we’re moving to a little bit bigger place and we’re on the run. We have some prospects, some young people that we believe can become world champions and we hope they can make their debut very soon. Being a WBA champion opens so many doors for you, and you know that it is also important to give direction to other athletes so that they can achieve things on a sporting level and be figures that contribute to society in a positive way.
In her role as a trainer where she also works on empowerment and self-defense for women and children, she enjoys a constructive learning stage that excites her: «In addition, we are developing various projects at the institutional level with the country. On the other hand, we have an eight-year-old daughter, so we are accommodating everything according to the different responsibilities and of course the priority is her.”
As for Shields’ fight with Savvannah Marshall, she commented exclusively for the WBA website, that she does not really have a definite prognosis, but stressed that «Marshall has a good fighting rhythm, I don’t know if she will be very strong, but she is effective when throwing hooks to the body. I already know Shields and I don’t think she will be very powerful. I think that, if they take the risk in the fight to leave everything both of them, like Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, it could be a great fight. But the truth is that I’m focused on my thing. I want to conquer, unify, in this division and then go down to 168 to fight Crews, who is the unified super middleweight champion. Another challenge will be to be able to fight at 160 with whoever is unified, either Shields or Marshall, whoever wins. And then to move down to 154, because I saw that Cecilia Braekhus has moved up. This has been the fight I’ve always wanted to do. When I was 154 champion there were opportunities, but for one thing or another it didn’t happen. I think this is the time for us to meet».
There is a lot on the way and the champion of the pioneering body hopes to be able to execute and realize all those things to continue making history. But for now, she and her husband are very focused on organizing themselves in such a way that they can handle all the commitments and stay among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world as they have been doing so far.