CLARESSA SHIELDS remains the world’s number one female middleweight boxer after beating Maricela Cornejo in Detroit on Saturday night.
Inside the Little Caesars Arena, the subject of the fight turned out to be Shields’ right hand manipulating her opponent throughout.
The Michigan middleweight wrestled in Detroit for the first time in five years and the atmosphere was one of celebration for the number one female boxer in the weight division.
Before that, spectators were asked to show their appreciation for some of the city’s best boxing figures. Cornelius Bundrage, Broncko McKart, Milton McCrory and Jackie Kallen all stood in the ring and smiled before a resounding round of applause was given to Motor City Cobra, legendary Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns.
After the legends of Motown, The Four Tops shed their vocal cords during the anthem, Shields wasted little time demonstrating his signature hand speed in the first half. The first two minutes proved why champions cost 1/50th pre-fights. The 28-year-old was clearly too fast and Cornejo didn’t know what to do when the right hands were constantly rushing in.
The 36-year-old is a replacement for Hanna Gabriels, who was dropped from the fight as a result of the May 2 VADA test. Cornejo is considered a small step up in the class, but Shields has nothing to worry about the whole fight.
Cornejo’s legs were bent in the second as a strong hit from Shields added to her initial advantage. Even with little time left in the fight, there would clearly be only one winner.
Shields are also faster in punch exchanges and can be risky from the inside during coordinated throws. Cornejo has managed to stay fit and time with her right hand but these are just petty positive things to do. The challenger’s greatest achievements are her chin and endurance.
Cornejo has faced right-handers in the middle as well as round shots. The body punches are non-existent, however, and could be the key to slowing the Washington-born boxer down even further.
Round seven looked like a chance for Shields to win in their first stoppage time in six years. The two-time Olympic gold medalist piled up the pressure with shots that sent Cornejo back. An upper cut to the body has been added for good measure. Shields needed another 60 seconds to make another argument for the three-minute rounds in women’s boxing.
The eighth inning was a quieter session but Cornejo still withdrew at the sign of Shield on his forelegs. Any chance to win in injury time seemed to have passed and the final two innings were a format for the crowd favorites who could do it their way.
Cornejo didn’t offer anything even hinting that she won one round and the three-point total: 100-89, 100-90, 100-90 in favor of Shields acknowledged it.
“I feel great,” Shields 14-0 (2) told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in a post-match interview.
“I took my shots, I won every round like I knew I could, I was close to the knockout but Maricela was tough, very smart and strong when I started hitting. she. She did a great job and congratulated me again.
“Maricela is super tough. She competes in the smaller weight division, she has a fit body, can take shots and knows how to get away from me. I think I look really good.
Shields needs much bigger tests than Cornejo 16-6 (6) and keeps an eye on the winner of the super-middleweight bout between Franchon Crews Dezurn and Savannah Marshall. Their match took place in Manchester on July 1. These two boxers have lost to Shields in their careers.
“I only care about the best,” Shields said.
“I will watch that match. I think I’ll go to the UK and show my face a little bit and see who wins.”