By: Sean Crose
Undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields put her crown on the line Saturday night when she battled Maricela Cornejo in Detroit, near her hometown of Flint, Michigain. The bout was the main event of a card broadcast live on DAZN. The 13-0 Shields was clearly the favorite, but the 16-5 Cornejo oozed confidence as the bell sounded to begin the scheduled 10 rounder.
Shields started fast, firing quickly right from the go. Cornejo, on the other hand, put her jab to work. It was clear, however, that Shields might be wanting to make a quick night of it. Shields landed a hard right in the second, causing Cornejo’s face to begin to bruise. Indeed, Shields continued to land well to the head throughout the round. Shields continued to fight masterfully in the third.
The fourth saw Cornejo fighting aggressively while Shields remained confident and showboated a bit. It was perfectly obvious in the fifth that Shields was too strong, too skilled, and frankly too much in her prime for Cornejo. Even Cornejo’s power shots couldn’t get through Shield’s underrated defense. The defending champion fired away in the sixth, truly looking to end the night. Cornejo managed to survive, but not much else.
If anything, the seventh offered a brutal beating. It was time for Cornejo’s corner to consider stopping the fight. The eighth saw Shields continuing to dominate. Shield’s had slowed down her pace in the ninth, but still showed no signs of fatigue. The tenth and final round was as one sided as the previous nine rounds had been. It was a complete was for Cornjeo, courtesy of Shields looking perhaps the best she ever has.
A quick question: If Shields isn’t the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), as she claims, then who in women’s boxing, past or present, is?
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