Maricela Cornejo Battles Samantha Pill Friday Night on ESPN
July 9, 2018
Anthony Saldana (73 articles)
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Maricela Cornejo Battles Samantha Pill Friday Night on ESPN

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

 

This Friday night at the Novo in downtown Los Angeles, Golden Boy Promotions brings fight fans an action packed night of fights as Southern California fan favorite and former WBC International Super Middleweight Champion, Maricela Cornejo (11-2, 4 KO’s) looks to win her eighth consecutive fight as she goes up against the undefeated, former Toughman Champion and West Virginia native Samantha “Leggz” Pill (3-0)

 

Pill who began fighting Semi-pro fights through local Toughman competitions in 2015 looks to make a name for herself by walking away with a victory over the much more experienced Cornejo Friday night. “First off I’m very thankful and honored for Maricela and her team to give me this opportunity and I know if I can come away with a victory, it would mean many things, including having sponsorships that would allow me to take an extra day off of work to dedicate to training” stated Pill in a recent interview with Supreme Boxing. Pill who became a registered nurse in 2007 is currently a full-time Emergency Room Supervisor and has had to learn to juggle her work life and her boxing career including the way she prepared for Cornejo. “I spend more time at work than at the gym so I know I’ll have to dig deep. I had a short camp but it was definitely intense and because I’m never really out of the gym I just had to pick up the pace and  fill in some gaps.” Stated Pill. “I’ve looked up some of Mari’s fights, but every fighter fights different every fight and always has a different game plan. So with all due respect for her, these last few years I’ve really learned to use my size well and if I doubted myself I’d have no business in there. So I’m going to give it my all and hope to bring the victory home with me. 

 

Cornejo who lives in Los Angeles and trains with Antonio Diaz is inching closer to a world title shot and must make the most of this opportunity Friday night on ESPN. In a recent interview with Supreme Boxing Cornejo stated “I’ve had a great camp, this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time during camp, and a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.” Cornejo went on to say “I really don’t know much about Pill, I know she’s tall, so I’m excited to get in the ring, showcase my talent and display that I’ll be able adapt to her height by using my experience and boxing knowledge to neutralize her reach advantage. I’m honestly used to not knowing who I’m going to face, so if push comes to shove I’m ready to give the fans a war”. If Cornejo does come away victorious, it’s rumored that fight fans will see her back in action on Mexican Independence Day weekend possibly on the Canelo vs GGG Card. “I’m ready for whatever my team puts in front of me” stated Cornejo. “I’d like to fight Raquel Miller or Alicia Napoleon for her title and I know that either one of those fights would be exciting and fan friendly because they’re not just pretty faces but warriors in that ring and that’s whats needed to keep the sport going in the direction it’s moving. They’ve both called me out a few times but they’re all bark and no bite”.

 

Also on the card in the main event rising featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (19-0, 11 KO’s) will battle for the vacant NABO Featherweight title against Rafael ‘Big Bang’ Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KO’s). Gonzalez a native of Glendora, California was a decorated amateur before turning professional in 2012. After several years of steadily climbing the featherweight rankings, the 24-year-old blossomed into a legitimate contender in 2017 after scoring stoppage victories against the likes of Derrick Murray, Deivi Bassa and Isao Carranza. Gonzalez is coming off a fifth-round knockout victory against Rolando Magbanua in March of this year and will be inches away from a world title opportunity if successful on July 13. “This has been one of my goals and thank God I’ll be fighting for my first regional title,” said Joet Gonzalez.”I’ve worked too hard over the past few years to not make the most of this opportunity, and I promise to make the most of it against Rafael Rivera. I have all the tools to be the best fighter in this division. Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions and my manager Frank Espinoza for allowing my step up and showcase my skills.”Rivera, of Tijuana, Mexico, debuted as a professional only a few months before Gonzalez and shares a similar career trajectory. The 24-year-old has spent the last six years fighting in Mexico and the United States and has wins against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and then-undefeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez. This will be Rivera’s second opportunity to fight for the NABO title after giving a tough fight to former title challenger Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Jr. in the co-main event of Canelo vs. Golovkin in September 2017. “I had a last-minute chance against Jojo Diaz back in September, and I missed it,” said Rafael Rivera. “This fight against Joet is the best opportunity to show what I’m capable of. I’ll be ready to take the NABO belt back home.”

 

Other bouts include 

 

Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-2, 15 KO’s) vs Arturo Santos Reyes (19-10, 5 KO’s)

 

Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (13-0, 3 KO’s) vs Jhosep Vizcaino (7-6, 3 KO’s)

 

Richard Acevedo (2-0, 2 KO’s) vs Quantavious Green (1-2, 1 KO)

 

This Golden Boy event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, July 13, 2018 at The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. LIVE. Doors to the event open at 3:00 p.m. PT, and the first fight begins at 4:00 p.m. PT. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

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Anthony Saldana