Claressa Shields Wins Pro Debut

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields was successful in her professional boxing debut on Saturday night, winning a four-round super middleweight bout against amateur rival Franchon Crews.

Shields swept the scorecards, winning 40-36 in the eyes of all three judges. This is the fourth time Shields has beaten Crews, as Shields won all three times they faced as amateurs.

"It feels so good to have just made my pro debut," Shields said. "This is what I’ve been training for. I’m faster and I hit harder. And I’m the better fighter. But Crews brought 100 percent, and I respect her for that. I hope to fight next in January or February."

Both fighters came out firing in round one, and the pace did not slow into the second round. There were several heated exchanges between the two old rivals from their U.S. Olympic Trials days, and both landed clean shots. Shields, however, showed she had a bit more in the tank starting with the second round.

Shields stunned and nearly knocked down Crews with several hard shots in the fourth.

"It’s not what I wanted, but to be called on, last minute, for a fight of this magnitude, I am proud of myself," Crews said. "We will fight again in the future."

Shields has not lost a boxing bout since 2012, and she finished her amateur career with a 77-1 record.

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