Claressa Shields easily retained her undisputed middleweight championship, outclassing Maricela Cornejo in every round for a predictable unanimous decision win.
Scores were 100-88, 100-90, and 100-90. BLH had it 100-90 on our unofficial card.
Shields (14-0, 2 KO) tried hard for a knockout, as she has in many of her recent fights where she has guaranteed knockouts and then one never came, but was never particularly close to a stoppage. She had Cornejo (16-6, 6 KO) rocked a couple times, notably late in the seventh round, but didn’t close the show.
Cornejo, 36, came in on short notice to replace Hanna Gabriels, but had been training for a fight and was in good shape. She simply couldn’t do anything with the 28-year-old Shields, which puts her right in league with the majority of Shields’ opponents.
“I felt great. I was landing my shots. I won every round like I knew I could,” Shields said after. “I pressed for the knockout I don’t know how many times. Maricela was just tough and had a good right hand herself, and was very smart and sturdy when I started hitting her, and knew how to survive. She did a great job.”
Shields said that she will likely go to the United Kingdom for the July 1 fight between undisputed super middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Savannah Marshall, two women she’s already beaten, but the winner of that fight will be clearly and easily her biggest possible opponent, too.
“I’m only interested in the best. I’ll be looking at that fight and see whoever wins. If they want to come meet me here at Little Caesars (Arena), I’m down for it,” she said.
Shields vs Cornejo highlights
Undercard highlights and results
Ardreal Holmes Jr Tech. SD-8 Wendy Toussaint: This was stopped at 1:54 of round eight on a very bad clash of heads that left Toussaint looking like this:
They tried to let it continue but it was just bleeding too badly, looked like a pro wrestling blade job instead of any normal cut in the course of boxing action, especially due to the placement.
Scores were 77-74 Toussaint and 76-75 and 77-74 Holmes. The Michigan crowed booed Holmes (14-0, 5 KO) getting the win and were pretty pro-Toussaint (14-2, 6 KO) from the early rounds of this fight, as Holmes is just not interesting to watch, let alone exciting. At 28, Holmes is just obviously a fighter who will not cut it at top level in the 154 lb division. He is a ShoBox-level fighter and no more, and in both of his recent fights, there are times where he really just doesn’t look like he wants to fight much. He does not pass the eye test, in short. He’s still undefeated, but you figure that ends well before he’s in any world title fight or the like.
Toussaint, 31, will rightly feel hard done by, in part because he was getting all the blame from referee Gerard White for fouls that were at least 50/50 the fault of either guy, and he lost a point in round four. Without that point off, this is a split draw. I scored it 76-76 for what it’s worth, because I don’t like scoring partial rounds, so I had it 10-10 in the eighth.
- Joseph Hicks UD-8 Antonio Todd: Scores were 80-72 from all three judges, as they should have been, and that’s what we unofficially had, too. Hicks (7-0, 5 KO) can box — he was going to be part of the 2020 U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo, was even the team captain, then didn’t wind up going to Tokyo. He’s 29 now, though, so they might want to get a move on if they have designs on seriously making him a contender in the middleweight division. Todd (14-8, 8 KO) did his usual solid job of hanging tough, going rounds, and being a valuable opponent, but again, at Hicks’ age, they should be trying to fast track the pro rise a little more from here on.