Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo Picks and Predictions: Mighty Shields Too Much for Underprepared Opponent

Claressa Shields was supposed to get a run for her money from Hannah Gabriel on Saturday, but now it's Maricela Cornejo who steps in as an 11th hour replacement. Our boxing betting picks believe this will be another cakewalk for Shields.

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2023 9:27 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Claressa Shields Boxing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Claressa Shields looks to lengthen her reign as the best female pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and her next challenger is the hard-hitting Maricela Cornejo in a 12-round title fight this weekend at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Shields already needs to make an adjustment, as original opponent Hannah Gabriels dropped out of the fight a week ago. Cornejo hopes to use that as an edge to claim Shields’ middleweight titles.

Boxing odds have Shields a major favorite at -10,000. Cornejo is a +1,600 underdog.

Here are our picks and predictions for Shields vs. Cornejo from the Motor City.

Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo odds

Method of victory Claressa Shields Maricela Cornejo
Win outright -8,000 +1,300
Win by KO/TKO +250 +5,000
Win by points or decision -330 +2,000
Draw +2,000 +2,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of June 1, 2023.

Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo betting predictions

Picks made on June 1. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo betting preview

Claressa Shields was originally scheduled to face Hannah Gabriels, previously one of the toughest bouts of her career, until Gabriels tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the fight. To Shields’ credit, she is facing a fighter in a similar style in Maricela Cornejo, a puncher who will look to pressure and punish her.

There is a huge divide in women’s boxing when it comes to the upper class and everyone else. Shields already has done enough to merit consideration as being the best of all time, and she is not showing any signs of slowing down. Aside from her lack of power, Shields’ speed, ring generalship, and boxing IQ are so far ahead of her peers, that she could reign uncontested for years to come.

She’s a significant favorite against the short-notice sub in Cornejo. This has been the case for most of her professional career, with Shields’ own ego often being her worst enemy. Truly, Shields is more at risk of facing too many overmatched opponents to the point where her own skill and competitive spirit begin to wane.

It has happened to many fighters, but the right opponent needs to be in front of them. Cornejo has decent punching power and is well-traveled, but lacks the consistency needed to match up with Shields. She previously challenged for the super middleweight title in 2018 and 2019, then moved down to middleweight after falling short in those attempts.

The thinking is that size and power are going to foil Shields. Cornejo has both, and she’ll need to also restrict Shields’ movement while landing precise body shots and getting the better of any exchanges. Chasing Shields down for the duration of the 10-round bout is a big ask, especially if Cornejo fails to make headway in the opening three rounds.

Unless Shields makes a grave tactical error and chooses to pursue a knockout, Cornejo has her work cut out for her. She has a puncher’s chance, but doesn’t possess the kind of fight-changing power she’ll need to make the most of her limited opportunities.

Claressa Shields vs Maricela Cornejo boxing prediction and best bet

Prediction: Shields

Shields is going to be comprehensively favored to win her fights until she is shockingly defeated. That’ll come when she begins appearing disinterested, or is over encumbered with out-of-the-ring drama that leads to a lack of focus between the ropes. Until that happens, she’s running the show and will be very hard to beat. 

Cornejo is severely overmatched, and Shields will leave her in the dust.

Prediction: Shields moneyline (-10,000 at DraftKings)

Best Bet: Shields moneyline (-10,000)

This should be another night in the office for Shields. Expect her to outclass her late-notice opponent, dominating her with her fast hands and footwork early on before sitting back and running out the clock. 

With no other props available at the time of this writing, we’ll stick to Shields straight up, though we’d take her by decision if given the opportunity.

Prediction: Shields moneyline (-10,000 at DraftKings)

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