Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn FITE by Triller
May 31, 2023

“The Gwoat” Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo - 5 Reasons You Need To Watch

By Curran Bhatia


In the exhilarating world of professional boxing, where legends are made, and champions are born, one name shines brighter than the rest: Claressa Shields. With a unique blend of skill, power, and an unyielding determination, Shields has carved her path to greatness, becoming a force to be reckoned with. The accolades bestowed upon her are many, but one nickname stands out among the rest – "The GWOAT" (Greatest Woman of All Time). Claressa Shields, quite simply, is a fighter who demands your attention.

Claressa Shields burst onto the boxing scene, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Hailing from Flint, Michigan, her rise to prominence was fueled by an unyielding spirit forged in the face of adversity. At a young age, Shields found solace and purpose within the squared circle, where she honed her skills and crafted her own unique fighting style.

Shields' fighting style is a marvel to behold. A masterful technician in the ring, she possesses a rare combination of speed, agility, and raw power that leaves her opponents unable to adjust. Blessed with lightning-fast reflexes, she effortlessly slips punches, weaving and bobbing with the grace of a seasoned veteran.

What truly sets Shields apart, however, is her unyielding mental fortitude. She possesses an unwavering self-belief, an unbreakable will to succeed that has propelled her to unprecedented heights. Shields embodies the very essence of resilience, never backing down from a challenge, no matter how daunting it may seem. She fights with a fire burning deep within her, a fire that refuses to be extinguished. It's this fighting spirit that has catapulted her to multiple world titles and Olympic gold medals.

"The GWOAT" is more than just a nickname; it's a testament to Shields' unparalleled achievements and her profound impact on women's boxing. With an unbeaten professional record, multiple world championships across different weight divisions, and an Olympic gold medal in both London 2012 and Rio 2016, Shields has shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations of fighters.

But "The GWOAT" is not merely defined by her victories inside the ring. Shields has emerged as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment, using her platform to champion equality and inspire change. She has fearlessly confronted gender stereotypes and shattered societal expectations, blazing a trail for women across the globe.

Shields pushed for equal pay, but it wasn't always easy. In her own words:


"I wanted to be paid more than $350k, I want you to promote my fights, I want commercials, I want what the men get."

It was a long road of resistance against the status quo, but Claressa has continued to fight for equal rights and pay. The next step on her journey will be on June 3 vs. Maricela Cornejo. You can catch the fight in select markets on FITE.


Flint, Michigan, a city known for its tough streets and unyielding spirit, provided the backdrop for Claressa Shields' remarkable journey. Born on March 17, 1995, in a place where challenges often outnumber opportunities, Shields discovered boxing as an escape from the hardships that surrounded her. At the tender age of 11, she stepped into a local gym, seeking solace and purpose, never imagining the path that lay ahead.

As Shields tells it:


"When I first started boxing, it was due to a bet. One of my friends bet that I wouldn't do a boxing program for a week. When my dad told me he was a boxer, I really started so my dad could live some of his life through me. Boxing as a sport, I wanted to do something, I love my dad. I didn't know that boxing would bring me so much joy."

The journey wasn't easy - Shields had to prove to herself and the fighters in the gym that she belonged.


"When I first walked into a gym, it was all boys in there, and I remember seeing two guys in the ring sparring, and my first thought was, ‘I can't wait to do that.' The first two months, that's when I got my first pushback, maybe my first two weeks. But I made my presence felt because I was the hardest worker, I had the big baggy clothes, the afro, I spoke just like them - I'd fight them out of the ring. I fit right in after I sparred. I fought someone who'd been in the gym for years, and I beat him up. That gave me so much confidence that there was no pushback. At the gym, I was the best fighter."

Being the best was not limited to the gym. Shields has already had an all-time professional career at just 28 years old. Currently, 13 wins and no defeats - two big wins by knockout. Shields has won multiple world championships along the way and is currently the undisputed World Middleweight Champion.

The full-circle opportunity to fight in Detroit has not been lost on "The GWOAT."


"I have been looking forward to fighting at Little Caesars Arena for so long, and to have Kash Doll and the Four Tops as part of the event will make it even more special," said Shields. "The Masters of Motown and the Queen of Detroit joining the Queen of Flint…I can't wait for June 3rd!"

Shields' promoter, Dmitriy Salita - President of Salita Promotions, also shares excitement for this event taking place in Detroit.


"Detroit has been a center of sports and culture for decades. June 3 is the return of championship boxing to Detroit, and we want to highlight the city in all its glory. June 3…at Little Caesars Arena is the place to be, with championship action inside the ring and a legendary atmosphere to give fans in Detroit and beyond a 2023 flavor of Motown. Detroit is America's greatest comeback city."

June 3 - Claressa Shields is coming home again vs. Maricela Cornejo. You can catch the fight in select markets on FITE.


Claressa Shields, the unstoppable force in the world of boxing, is not one to rest on her laurels. With an unyielding thirst for challenges and a hunger for greatness, Shields has set her sights on conquering new territories. From the squared circle of boxing, she has ventured into the explosive realm of mixed martial arts (MMA), with her eyes also fixed on the glitz and glamour of professional wrestling in WWE. Her quest to become a champion in all three disciplines is a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering ambition.

With her striking prowess and lightning-fast reflexes, Shields has quickly become a quick study and ready contender in the MMA scene. She seamlessly translates her boxing skills into the cage, unleashing a barrage of precise punches and devastating combinations. But it is her eagerness to learn and grow as a martial artist that truly sets her apart. Shields has devoted countless hours to developing her grappling and submission skills, determined to leave no stone unturned on her path to greatness. Training out of the highly touted Jackson Wink - home to MMA legends Jon Jones, Holly Holm, Rashad Evans, and many more.

Shields signed with Professional Fighters League (PFL) and worked her record to 1-1 in 2021. But this wasn't the end of her combat sports journey outside of boxing.

Shields now also has her sights set on the world of professional wrestling. As Shields says, she "would be all in" for a run at WWE, and in Shields' own words:

"[I] could take some of those girls."

The goal now for Shields is to enter the world of WWE, continue to dominate boxing, and win a title in PFL:


"I want to be boxing champion and PFL world champion at the same time. Being PFL world champion is my next goal. MMA seems harder (than boxing). I just want to keep making history and prove everybody wrong who doubted me."

Anyone who has doubted Shields up to this point has been certainly proven wrong. The next step on her journey will be on June 3 vs. Maricela Cornejo. You can catch the fight in select markets on FITE.


While fighting Claressa Shields will be a difficult task - her opponent is ready for this opportunity. Enter Maricela Cornejo. Cornejo is a veteran in the ring, and she will possess the height advantage on June 3. Cornejo is listed as 5'10", while Shields is 5'8". In addition, Cornejo will have the professional experience edge. Cornejo has competed 21 times as a professional boxer vs. the 13 times for Shields.

Shields knows that she's in for a tough test on June 3:


"I told my team to get me the best. 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 3."

And to Cornejo's credit - she understands what is on the line here. Undisputed status and a chance to flip the current boxing ranking and world order on its head. In Cornejo's own words:


"When Shields faced a Mexican in the cage, she lost. Now she will lose to a Mexican in the boxing ring. 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 3, I will become Undisputed Champion!"

"The GWOAT" Claressa Shields vs. Maricela Cornejo on June 3 for Undisputed Status at Middleweight. You can catch the fight in select markets on FITE.


Whenever a top athlete is competing in their sport - you don't want to miss it. This is certainly the case on June 3 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Claressa Shields, a hometown hero and a force to be reckoned with, will be taking on the skilled and determined Maricela Cornejo.

What makes this showdown so compelling is the stark contrast in styles and physical attributes between these two warriors. Shields, known for her lightning-fast speed and relentless aggression, will be facing off against Cornejo, a taller and formidable opponent who possesses a tough Mexican fighting style. It's a classic matchup of speed with power versus power, finesse against tenacity, and hometown pride versus unyielding determination.

For Shields, pound-for-pound supremacy and undisputed status hang in the balance. In addition, Shields will have an entire city rallying behind her, and her home state crowd will certainly turn out in big numbers to support their star.

It's unlikely Cornejo will be daunted by the hostile environment. She has fought on big stages before, and Cornejo will look to shock the world, knowing she can rise to the top and shock the boxing world with success on June 3.

Whether you're a boxing aficionado or simply appreciate the spectacle of two incredible athletes pushing their limits, tuning in on June 3 will be an event you won't want to miss. "The GWOAT" Claressa Shields vs. Maricela Cornejo on June 3 for Undisputed Status at Middleweight. You can catch the fight in select markets on FITE.


Curran Bhatia is a 4-time Emmy® nominee at HBO Sports. With nearly a decade of experience at HBO, Curran produced/directed long-form documentaries (including the Emmy award-winning series "24/7"), and 250+ live events. Since HBO, Curran has stepped in front of the camera as On-Air Talent, Host, Play-By-Play Announcer, Analyst, Essayist, and Interviewer on NBC Sports, ESPN, FOX Sports, DAZN, FITE, and more. Curran hosts Ask The Experts podcast. Follow Curran on all social channels: @CurranBhatia