Undisputed middleweight queen Claressa “GWOAT” Shields dazzled the audience at the Little Caesars Arena in her hometown, Detroit, Michigan, successfully retaining her title with a remarkable unanimous decision triumph over top challenger Maricela Cornejo (16-6, 6 KOs).
Before the championship bout got underway, the spectators were treated to a display of Detroit’s local talent. Shields made her entrance to the ring, accompanied by Detroit’s own rapper and actress Kash Doll, while Motown’s famed group, The Four Tops, sang the national anthem.
Seven years had passed since Claressa Shields, the defending champion, had secured a victory through knockout, and she was resolute in her decision to break this streak on the evening of June 3rd. Shields opened the first round with a hefty left-handed punch, followed by a sequence of powerful right hands by the end of the round.
In round 2, Cornejo sought to retaliate, starting strong with an early combination. However, Shields swiftly regained control, releasing a barrage of right-hand strikes. For the first five rounds, Shields dominated the ring, repeatedly catching Cornejo off-guard with her looping right-hand punches.
As round 6 commenced, Shields was encouraged to land a straight right-hand punch, which she successfully did. In the early part of the seventh round, she bombarded Cornejo with a series of rapid-fire punches. As the round came to a close, Shields landed a clean, straight right-hand punch that rocked her opponent’s head back.
During the bout’s final three rounds, Shields continued to deliver with her right hand, while Cornejo showcased her resilience and sturdy defenses. Although Shields didn’t achieve a knockout, she claimed a unanimous decision victory with the judges scoring 100-89, 100-90, and 100-90.
The 28-year-old champion Claressa “GWOAT” Shields (14-0, 2 KOs) had a seemingly routine night, successfully retaining her undisputed middleweight title. She had her sights set on a knockout, but she appeared satisfied with her commanding unanimous decision performance.
Consistently outshining her rivals, Shields proves time and again that she is in a league of her own. She has already set her sights on the upcoming July 1st undisputed super-middleweight showdown between the current champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Savannah Marshall.
Shields had made her professional boxing debut by defeating Franchon Crews-Dezurn back in November 2016, and she had beaten Savannah Marshall as recently as October 2022. An encounter with the winner of the July 1st match could present an interesting challenge for Shields, as a victory could cement her status as a simultaneous undisputed champion across two divisions.