Claressa Shields Promises Throwdown in Motown



Claressa Shields Promises Throwdown in Motown
All photos by Terrell Groggins, for Salita Promotions

Three days away from Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields battling No. 1 rated contender Maricela Cornejo at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The fighters went face-to-face for the first time on Wednesday, looking into each others’ eyes at the final press conference before they do their thing on DAZN in the U.S. and Canada.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased through, and the XFINITY Box Office at Little Caesars Arena. The event is promoted by Salita Promotions and 313 Presents.

Here is material from a promotional press release:

Boxing promoter Dmitriy Salita, who reps Claressa Shields

Salita has worked hard for a few years to build a framework for hosting big bouts in Detroit region

The press conference also included rising unbeaten and Flint-native Ardreal Holmes and his opponent Wendy Toussaint, who meet in the super welterweight co-main event.

Flint’s Shields will headline the first-ever boxing event at Little Caesars Arena, the home of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings.

Claressa Shields has relished in the adoration of The Motor City, including a visit to throw out the first pitch at last night’s Detroit Tigers game, and will look to give her fans a thrilling show in defending her undisputed crown against Cornejo.

Catch up on fight week with the “SHIELDS VS. CORNEJO: FIGHT WEEK DAILY” five-part digital video series debuting each night through fight night (episode one available HERE).

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from Little Caesars Arena:


Claressa Shields with the Four Tops

Two of four Top pose with Claressa Shields at press conference Wednesday

“I’m facing a younger, taller and more savvy opponent in Maricela Cornejo than I was in Hanna Gabriels. I want to thank Maricela for accepting this challenge and coming here. I know that she’s always in shape. It’s gonna be a real throwdown in Motown.

“I know she said she wants to go out there and dance, but you’re gonna be dancing by yourself. Because I came to fight. She can salsa all she wants, but I came to throw down and show my skills,” said Claressa Shields.

“It’s fight week and there’s not much more to say. Boxing is changing. To be having this fight here in front of thousands of fans in Detroit, with the G.W.O.A.T. in the main event, we don’t get too many of these opportunities.

“I’m just happy and excited about this fight. I’m looking forward to putting on a show and showing that I’m the greatest once again.

“People in Detroit are ready to celebrate. The city is already celebrating because it’s a big moment for Detroit. But I’m still focused on winning the fight. It’s big for all of us, but I’m keeping my head down.

“When I got the call about fighting at Little Caesars Arena, it felt like there was a slim chance we’d get to fight here. They offered a lot of money to fight again in the U.K., but I wanted to bring my titles here.”

Maricela Cornejo, boxer from California, fights Claressa Shields on June 3 in Detroit

Maricela Cornejo, boxer from California, fights Claressa Shields on June 3 in Detroit


“When I got the call I was getting ready for another fight, so we were coming to the end of camp anyway. This isn’t a last minute thing for me, because I’m always ready. I’m always staying in the gym. I live, eat and breathe boxing.

“I’m ready for this opportunity and there’s no excuses come Saturday night. Claressa Shields has done so much for the sport of boxing and everyone in this sport is trying to do our part. Our responsibility is just to make a difference in the sport and that’s what we’re trying to do. She needs a good dance partner to do that. When they called, I said I’m ready to dance.

“Being an underdog doesn’t affect me at all. I’m gonna go put some money on myself. I knew I’d be the underdog. She’s got the titles, so I know what I have to do.

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the perfect time for me to take this fight. Some might think that it’s short notice, but I’m in tip-top shape.

“She’s coming after me, so I’m fighting fire with fire. There’s no backing down at all. It’s gonna take heart, endurance, everything and the kitchen sink. That’s the kind of fighter that Claressa is and I’m so ready for it.”

DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions

“Big-time boxing is back in Michigan on June 3 right here at Little Caesars Arena, and we’re going to see Claressa Shields defend her undisputed title against the top rated contender Maricela Cornejo. This is a big event for Detroit, Michigan and boxing as a whole. They say ‘a tree grows in Brooklyn’, but boxing grows in Detroit.

“This is going to be a historic night of boxing. Claressa Shields has opened the door for Michigan and Detroit talent to be seen on a worldwide scale. This card will feature some of the best talent in the world of boxing from right here in the state.

“The city of Flint has provided some of the best fighters in the sport of boxing and many believe that Ardreal Holmes is next in line. He is undefeated and stepping in for the most challenging fight of his career.”

HOWARD HANDLER, President of 313 Presents

“Welcome to fight week. As Detroit’s premier live entertainment company, 313 Presents is excited to present the first ever boxing event here at Little Caesars Arena. We’re making history with this fight.

“I want to thank Claressa Shields and her whole team for all their hard work and preparation, as we’re just a few days away from the big event. I also want to thank Maricela for stepping in and taking on this challenge.

“In addition to the main event, Dmitriy has put together a terrific fight card featuring some of Michigan’s best prospects. On top of Flint, Michigan being represented we’ve got Dearborn and Grand Rapids, and each of these fighters are going to make this first ever boxing event here historic and memorable.

“Claressa, you definitely inspire and give hope to many people out there. Claressa has really gone above and beyond to give back to people who are often overlooked. We’re looking forward to a great crowd and the city being abuzz for boxing.”

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.