DETROIT (AP) — Claressa Shields successfully defended her undisputed middleweight title with a lopsided unanimous decision over Maricela Cornejo on Saturday night in the first boxing card at Little Caesars Arena.
Shields (14-0, 2 KOs) with a score of 100-89 on one card and 100-90 on the other two.
Shields has won two Olympic gold medals and professional titles at super welterweight (154 pounds), middleweight (160 pounds) and super middleweight (168 pounds).
Cornejo (16-6) hasn’t beaten an opponent with a winning record in more than four years.
Cornejo gave Shields some trouble in the early rounds with a solid jab and movement away from Shields’ right hand. However, she couldn’t generate enough power to keep the champion from coming forward.
Shields opened a cut over Cornejo’s right eye in the fifth round and hurt her with a series of combinations in the seventh. A straight right sent Cornejo into the ropes, but the round ended before Shields could finish her.
Cornejo tired in the final rounds, but was able to fend the champion off to make it to the final bell.
Shields was originally scheduled to fight a rematch with Hanna Gabriels, who knocked her down in 2018 before losing a unanimous decision. However, Gabriels was taken off the card after testing positive for a banned substance.
In the penultimate fight, Ardreal Holmes Jr (14-0, 5 KOs) won the USBA super-middleweight title with an unpopular split-decision win over Wendy Toussaint in a fight shortened to eight rounds by an accidental headbutt.
Joseph Hicks (7-0, 5 KOs) picked up the WBA Americas Silver middleweight title with a unanimous 8-round decision over Antonio Todd.
Marlon Harrington (9-1, 8 KOs) won the WBF Intercontinental super-welterweight championship with a 46-second technical knockout of local favorite Gheith Mohammed (9-1).
The arena’s lower bowl appeared more than half full while the upper bowl was curtained off.
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