On June 3, Claressa Shields (13-0, 2 KOs) faces Maricela Cornejo (16-5, 6 KOs) on a card scheduled to take place at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, USA. For Shields, the bout is a defense of her undisputed middleweight titles and her first fight of 2023. Big Fight Weekend takes a closer look at who she is in preparation for this weekend’s title fight.
— Dmitriy Salita (@Dsalita) May 31, 2023
Amateur Boxing Career
Shields was born in Flint, Michigan on March 17, 1995. She began pursuing boxing at the age of 11 after her father instilled a passion of the sport in her. At the age of 17, she qualified for the 2012 Olympics and won gold, defeating veteran Nadezda Torlopova in the final. By the time the 2016 Olympics began, she had also won two gold medals at the World Boxing Championships, first in 2014 and again in 2016. At the age of 21, she won Olympic gold for a second time, defeating Nouchka Fontijn. This made Shields the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic titles. As an amateur, Shields had a record of 64-1 with five wins by way of knockout. Her only loss was to Savannah Marshall, a loss she only avenged after they both turned professional.
Entering the Professional Ranks
On November 19, 2016, Shields made her professional debut with a unanimous decision win against Franchon Crews-Dezurn, the current undisputed super middleweight champion. In her fourth fight, Shields became unified super middleweight champion with a fifth round stoppage over 16-0 Nikki Adler. Shields moved down to middleweight in 2018 and fought Hanna Gabriels, her original opponent for this weekend. Despite being knocked down in the first round, Shields dominated the remainder of their fight to become unified middleweight champion. In 2019, she became undisputed middleweight champion for the first time with a unanimous decision win over Christina Hammer. She repeated the feat at super welterweight by first defeating Ivana Habazin to become unified champion and then defeated Marie Eve Dicaire to become undisputed.
In October last year, Shields had her long awaited rematch with Marshall. The bout took place at the O2 Arena in London, England and both fighters came into the fight undefeated in the professional ranks. Shields avenged the only loss of her boxing career via a unanimous decision. The win made Shields an undisputed champion for the third time in her career and second time a middleweight. It capped a successful two fight spell in the UK that began with her defeating Ema Kozin in Cardiff, Wales. She now returns to Detroit for her first fight there since 2018.