Two-division undisputed world champion Claressa Shields will now face Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo on Saturday, June 3rd at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Scheduled opponent Hanna Gabriels was originally slated to face Shields. However, based on the results of a May 2nd VADA test done as part of the WBC Clean Boxer Program, promoter Salita Promotions made the change in opponents. Boxing’s G.W.O.A.T. and Michigan’s own Shields will live up to her promise to bring big-time boxing back to Detroit by stepping up to face the WBC / WBO / IBF #1 ranked Cornejo in the first-ever boxing event at Little Caesars Arena.
“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 3rd.”
“When Shields faced a Mexican in the [mixed martial arts] 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 3rd, I will become undisputed champion!”
A two-time Olympic gold medalist throughout her storied amateur career, the 28-year-old Shields (13-0, 2 KOs) avenged her only amateur defeat last October when she traveled to the U.K. to win the WBO Middleweight Title from Savannah Marshall via unanimous decision. The Flint-native’s last fight in her home state of Michigan came in March 2021 as she bested Marie Eve Dicaire to become undisputed super welterweight world champion, her second undisputed distinction after originally unifying all the middleweight titles with a 2019 victory over then unbeaten Christina Hammer.
A native of Washington who now trains in Las Vegas under the tutelage of Ismael Salas, Cornejo (16-5, 6 KOs) enters this fight having won three straight. She most recently fought in March when she stopped Sheila Cunha in the first round. The 36-yea -old has previously challenged for world titles at middleweight and super middleweight, including a pair of close decision losses to current undisputed world super middleweight champion Franchon Crews Dezurn in 2018 and 2019. Cornejo’s first world title opportunity came in just her sixth professional outing, as she dropped a razor thin split-decision to Kali Reis in April 2016.
“Claressa’s goal has always been to fight the best, and we left no stone unturned in making sure we deliver the highest available contender in the undisputed multi organization no. 1 world-rated middleweight Marcelo Cornejo,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Fans watching the fight live on DAZN and those present for the comeback of big-time boxing in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena will witness the highest level of professional boxing between two hungry fighters fighting for the undisputed middleweight world crown.”