A week of action in which the best female fighter of all time is fighting is always a very good week.
It did not affect our ratings, of course, since she occupies the very top of all the lists in which she qualifies to be rated, but Claressa Shields held on to her Ring middleweight belt and her crown as the game’s pound-for-pound best with another dazzling display against Maricela Cornejo on Saturday in Detroit.
“At 28 years old, Claressa Shields is entering her prime years,” said columnist Mark Jones. “She’s dominated excellent fighters, and it’s scary that she might get better. Her toughest competition is likely at 168.”
Historian Malissa Smith argued that “pound-for-pound great Claressa Shields put on a masterful display of boxing against her very game opponent (like) Maricela Cornejo. Showing mastery of all levels of the game, Shields put on a clinic both offensively and defensively, while also acknowledging to her corner that Cornejo’s sharp rights were worthy of respect. I’ll add that I’m not so certain (original opponent Hannah) Gabriels would have done any better.”
Author and TV commentator Yesica Palmetta agreed by saying that “Gabriels it wouldn’t have been much more different. Cornejo took everything she gave her! Shields only continues to give arguments for her self-proclaimed title of GWOAT.”
In the only modification to our current ratings, Adelaida Ruiz improved to No. 4 in the stacked junior bantamweight with a stoppage win over former titlist Maria Cecilia Roman.
“Ruiz the Power Puncher is another young pro staking claims,” said Beautiful Brawlers’ Lupi Gutierrez-Beagle. “’La Cobra’ is a great champion. No. 4 definitely.”
“Ruiz moved the needle with her solid win over Maria Roman,” agreed Smith. “I think the referee rightly called the fight after more than a minute of Ruiz’s unanswered barrage with Roman pressed from one end of the ring to the other. Ruiz is proving herself to be a force in the junior bantamweight division and deserves to move up a notch.”
“Ruiz did very well; she was more aggressive and forceful in the face of Roman, who could not deal with Ruiz’s pressure.”
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.