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News: Claressa Shields; Dusty Hernandez-Harrison; Sam Crossed

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified 168-pound champion Claressa Shields isn’t lacking in confidence as she begins fight week preparing to take on unified 154-pound titleholder Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships this Friday night LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT).

“As great as she is being a three-time world champion at 154, she’s coming up [in weight],” said Shields, in the video feature. “I’m faster than Hanna Gabriels, I’m bigger. I’m coming down in weight. I’m stronger, I’m taller, and I’m better skilled.”


Shields added: “I have to perform at Claressa Shields level, and that is GWOAT: Greatest Woman of All-Time.”

In the co-feature bout, women’s unified WBC and WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer will defend against former world champion Tori Nelson as all four women’s middleweight world titles will be at stake. Also, light heavyweight prospects Umar Salamov and Brian Howard who will meet in a 10-round matchup that will open the tripleheader from Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Masonic Temple Box Office at (313) 832-7100. VIP tickets are priced at $300, ringside tickets at $125, and remaining tickets at $75, $50 and $35.

Hernandez-Harrison leaves Roc Nation

Undefeated welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is now a promotional free agent after being granted his release from promoter Roc Nation Sports. The former USBA, WBC Continental Americas and WBC Youth Champion is eager to get back in the ring after a 22-month hiatus from the sport.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to get back into the ring and fulfill my goal of becoming a World Champion,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I am in the gym and I am working hard to get back to where I was two years ago.”

“I just want to fight at this point; it’s been way too long,” Hernandez-Harrison added.

Hernandez-Harrison sports a record of 30-0-1, with 16 knockouts and is huge draw in his native Washington, D.C.

“I would really like to have a few fights at home,” the Southeast D.C., native said. “I love fighting in D.C., and I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans again.”

That opportunity could come sooner rather than later if current plans come to fruition.

Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed Scores Devastating Knockout in Ring Return

Undefeated Washington D.C. Region Fan Favorite Remains Undefeated With First Round KO

Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2018) — Knockout artist Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed of Greenbelt, Maryland, was triumphant in his ring return following an 11-month hiatus. Crossed won in spectacular fashion knocking out his previously undefeated opponent, Josh Jones, just 23 seconds into the first round with a brutal overhand right. Crossed improves his perfect record to 7-0, with 5 knockouts. The bout took place this past Saturday June 16, 2018, at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland and was co-promoted by Jeter Promotions and GQ Promotions.

“It was a shot my trainer and I had been working on in the gym,” Crossed said. “This was the best camp I have had in my career and I felt more relaxed than ever before.”

Crossed should be back in action in August if things go as planned for the Washington, D.C., region fan favorite.

“It looks like we could have Sam back in the ring and possibly in a televised fight next time out if everything falls into place,” Crossed’s manager Mike Walters said. “He had a huge crowd for this fight and put on a hell of a performance for as long as it lasted.”

“The promoter (Jeter Promotions) was very happy with his performance and with the number of tickets he sold.”

Crossed has a rabid fan base in the Washington, D.C., region, which was evident on Saturday night as he received arguably the loudest cheers of any boxer on the card and by the number of fans in attendance wearing Vanilla Gorilla T-shirts. Dan Rafael of ESPN fame described the fighter as having a “cult like following” in an article he wrote in May 2016.

“I just want to get back in the ring as soon as possible,” Crossed said. “I feel like I have improved leaps and bounds since I made my debut and I am looking to step up in my next fight.”

“I want to fight as often as possible against better opposition every time out.”