Claressa Shields to Make Pro Debut

Claressa Shields made history this past summer at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and now she will advance in her career by going pro.

Shields makes her pro boxing debut in two weeks as part of the undercard for Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward. She faces Franchon Crews, who also makes her professional debut, in a four-round super middleweight bout.

Shields became the first American boxer to successfully defend a gold medal. After winning gold at the 2012 Games in London as a 17-year-old, she won another gold in Rio this year. In addition, Shields has won amateur championships on the national and world level, is a two-time AIBA female boxer of the year and won the Val Barker award for being the most outstanding female fighter at the Rio Olympics.

"I can’t wait to perform for my fans on Nov. 19," Shields said. "Franchon Crews has an outstanding amateur background, but I’m a once-in-a-century fighter and I fear no one. It will be a great night for women’s boxing, a night that I hope will be remembered as one that changed the course of history."

This won’t be the first meeting between Shields and Crews, as they faced off in February 2012 during the U.S. team trials for women’s boxing. Shields won the bout.

"Claressa Shields deserves a lot of credit for fighting a world-class fighter in her very first professional bout," said Mark Taffet, Shields’ co-manager. "She’s a trailblazer and a game-changer, with charisma and savvy outside the ring to match her unprecedented skills in the ring. In addition to the stellar Kovalev vs. Ward matchup, Nov. 19 will be a great statement for women’s boxing on what I believe will be looked upon as an historic night."

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