Claressa Shields has a new opponent for next week’s homecoming in Detroit. DAZN announced today that Hanna Gabriels has been removed “based on the results of a May 2 VADA test,” leaving Maricela Cornejo to take her place.
The 36-year-old Cornejo (16-5, 6 KO) has thrice challenged for world titles, losing a 2016 split decision to Kali Reis in a bid for middleweight gold and a pair of decisions to Franchon Crews-Dezurn at 168. She’s won three straight over <=.500 opponents since falling to Alma Ibarra in 2021.
Not a particularly inspiring opponent, but not the worst on nine days’ notice. Not like the result will be any different.
“I told my team to get me the best,’ said Shields. “Cornejo is a tall, tough Mexican full of pride who’s in great shape and wants to beat me. She’s ranked number one. That’s exactly what I want for my Detroit homecoming and for my fans around the world. I’m looking forward to a great performance on June 3.”
“When Shields faced a Mexican in the cage, she lost. Now she will lose to a Mexican in the boxing ring,” said Cornejo. “I just finished an amazing fight camp and am in the best, strongest physical and mental shape of my life. My team in Vegas has sharpened me like a knife for this moment. On June 3, I will become Undisputed Champion!”