Claressa Shields, the two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA in 2012 and 2016, won her pro debut tonight in Las Vegas, defeating Franchon Crews via four round unanimous decision. All three judges had the fight 40-36.
Shields (1-0, 0 KO) went hard for a finish, but it just wasn’t quite there. Crews (0-1, 0 KO) was game and came to fight, and made it a little chippy at times, twice shoving Shields over.
There is some hope that Shields, a charismatic and talented 21-year-old from Flint, Michigan, can be a spark for women’s professional boxing, particularly in the United States, where the sport has really never taken off at all save for the odd star like Laila Ali.
If Shields can get people to pay attention -- and women’s MMA in UFC has proven there is a market for women’s combat sports — they’re going to like what they see. She fought really hard in this one and has been a dominant amateur.
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