Not all fighters are open to doing much in the way of interviews during fight week. Many will do the bare minimum, which means parceling out stingily and in semi-surly fashion short and pedestrian answers to press queries
Not so Maricela Cornejo, a 31 year old 11-2 super middleweight living in CA and fighting for Golden Boy Promotions. She fights tomorrow (Friday) against Samantha Pill, in LA, but was generous with her time and in affable mode when she chatted with the TALKBOX podcast earlier in the week.
“You’re making me late for my manicure/pedicure appointment,” joked Cornejo, who grew up in Washington, during a phoner, after I asked about her willingness to do such a session while she counts down to fight night.
“So this kind of is a pain in the ass. I’m joking! No, it’s not. I truly appreciate anyone wanting to cover me. I appreciate all the support, all the interviews, all the conversations. I appreciate anyone wanting to cover me. At times it can get — you’re tired and the last thing you want to do is talk to somebody, but I think about, ‘They don’t have to talk to me. They choose to talk to me, they obviously have a passion for the sport, we have something in common there, we love the sport,’ so I appreciate it and it’s always great to speak to someone who has the same passion!”
Mari had just four amateur fights and then debuted as a pro in 2012. She shared that she is a fighter, outside the ring as well. She was acting, and wanted to lose 5-10 pounds for a movie part, in an Eric Roberts film. She went to Wild Card and was told, “Whoa, you hit like a man!” That spurred Cornejo to think maybe she could do pro fighting and that could serve as a hook in getting roles.
“I truly did fall in love with the sport,” she stated. She learned the basics and then inside of six months, she had an amateur fight.
Yeah, no, it’s no fun getting your face punched, she admitted. She’s learning on the job, she admits and she simply wants to keep progressing. “Progress is what we live for.”
Indeed; Cornejo was kind enough to share courageously her back story. She told us that she was sexually abused when she was 4-5, by a family friend, and that hurt her to her soul. “I didn’t share that with my family, so I carried that within my myself, so I was a very troubled child, acting out, I tried to commit suicide many times,” she told us.
Listen to her story about standing in her kitchen with a knife pressed to her body, when she was in high school.
The super middleweight fighter meets Samantha Pill (3-0), who has been fighting as a heavyweight, at The Novo at LA LIVE, and please hear more about Cornejo’s resurrection after she was facing drug charges on TALKBOX if you like.
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