Claressa Shields knows winning. 

It’s almost all she’s ever known. 

In 78 amateur fights, she won 77 with two Olympic Gold medals and two World Amateur titles. As a professional, she is now 14-0 and 11-0 in bouts for major titles. She is the reigning undisputed middleweight champion and can lay claim to the lineal Jr. middleweight crown as well.

Saturday in Detroit, the only question was whether she could get a knockout. She hasn’t had one since her first title fight against Nikki Adler in 2017. There was no mistaking the effort to finish late replacement opponent Maricela Cornejo early. It wasn’t to be and in a fight where Shields won all ten rounds, it was as close to a loss as she was going to get.

It wasn’t Shields' best performance. There were spots against Cornejo where Shields looked anxious and rushed, taking the sort of clean shots a more disciplined and sharp Shields did not against the dangerous Savannah Marshall last year.

Could a more methodical body attack to balance out what was a lot of head hunting have gotten Shields closer to her goal?  

Maybe, but it’s also pretty clear at this point knockouts just aren’t her thing. That’s okay. Being the best fighter in the sport will have to do. 

When will that mantle receive its next real test?

Futures: In July, two former Shields foes will lock horns for the undisputed super middleweight title as Franchon Crews-Dezurn defends against former middleweight titlist Savannah Marshall. The winner would have a prize for Shields to come after. If it’s Marshall, the money would be better than almost any other Shields option as well. 

The WBC mandatory to their fight is an extra element of intrigue around the weights.

Shadasia Green is 12-0 with 11 knockouts so far, and she’s coming off a very impressive stoppage of Elin Cederroos. Green is aggressive, heavy handed, and goes to the body with authority. She’s the sort of threat that could just as likely see the winner of the super middleweight affair vacate one of the straps as fight her.

Shields alluded after the Cornejo win to a “Four Queens” scenario featuring herself and these three rivals. If Green did get a shot at an undisputed super middleweight crown, and won, it wouldn’t have to be four.

Shields would have a new, intriguing rival to get people talking. Green could be seen as a sort of parallel offensive threat to what Anne Wolfe once was for Laila Ali.

Ali never went anywhere near Wolfe. 

Shields has shown there’s no one she’s uncomfortable stepping in with, even trying her hand at MMA in the past. 

Keep an eye on Green as a potential rival. There’s always one on the horizon.    

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.