Claressa Shields has a new opponent for her June 3 title defense, as Maricela Cornejo replaces Hanna Gabriels.
Claressa Shields-Maricela Cornejo Set For June 3
Hanna Gabriels has been pulled from a planned June 3 meeting with Claressa Shields. Officials confirmed that the results of a VADA test by Gabriels have forced them to replace her with Maricela Cornejo.
Shields will meet the No. 1 ranked WBC, WBO and IBF fighter in Detroit from Little Caesars Arena.
“I told my team to get me the best,” Shields said. “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.”
Claressa Shields Looks To Remain Unbeaten
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 champion, her second undisputed distinction after originally unifying all the middleweight titles with a 2019 victory over then unbeaten Christina Hammer.
Challenger Has Opportunity Of A Lifetime
A native of Washington who now trains in Las Vegas under the tutelage of renowned trainer Ismael Salas, Cornejo (16-5, 6 KOs) enters this fight having won three-straight contests. She most recently fought in March as she stopped Sheila Cunha in the first round.
The 36-year-old has previously challenged for world titles at middleweight and super middleweight, including a pair of close decision losses to undisputed super middleweight champion Franchon Crews Dezurn in 2018 and 2019.
“When Shields faced a Mexican in the cage, she lost. Now she will lose to a Mexican in the boxing ring,” Cornejo said. “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!”
Gabriels was pulled by Salita Promotions due to the results of her VADA test, which was conducted on May 2. VADA testing is done as part of the WBC Clean Boxer Program.
“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.”